Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

The Kepler Mission's Search for Earth 2.0

January 27, 2018

The Kepler Mission's Search for Earth 2.0

Outreach talk, 40 min. January 2018: Astronomy Days, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC, USA.


January 27, 2018

More Decks by jjhermes

Other Decks in Science


  1. http://jjherm.es Dr. J.J. Hermes Hubble Fellow University of North Carolina

    at Chapel Hill The Kepler Mission’s Search for Earth 2.0
  2. PI: Bill Borucki 1983: Kepler design began 1992: REJECTED by

    NASA Unsuitable detector technology 1994: REJECTED by NASA Too expensive 1996: REJECTED by NASA No proof of concept 1998: REJECTED by NASA Space too harsh for detectors 2000: ACCEPTED by NASA $550 million budget
  3. Kepler at a glance 0.95-m aperture (Hubble is 2.4-m) 95

    megapixel camera (at time, largest unclassified camera launched into space)
  4. Once a year, viewed from afar, the Earth causes an

    84 ppm (0.0084%) dip in Sunlight for about 10 hrs
  5. Transit Yields Planet Radius 10b Size Radius = 1.4 R

    !"#$%&'"()*&+,%-".. /,$."(0,12*.3 Dr. Natalie Batalha et al. 2011
  6. Kepler has shown us that, on average, each of the

    ~200 billion stars in our Galaxy has a planet orbiting within 300 days! (artist’s impression)
  7. Kepler, resurrected as K2, balances against the pressure of Sunlight

    But it must stare at new fields in the ecliptic plane every 3 months
  8. Juliette Becker et al. 2015 K2 is still great at

    searching for new planets (though not Earth 2.0)!
  9. Looking in the Ecliptic with K2, we are finding worlds

    that could potentially find us! Transit of Venus 2012 (Jim Tiller, AP)
  10. Kepler is in Earth-trailing orbit: Porb = 372.5 days Kepler

    is currently >96 million miles from Earth Earth’s orbit Kepler’s orbit Sun Earth on March 5th Kepler, 1 yrafter launch Kepler, 4 yrslater Orbital direction
  11. Doug Caldwell In its 16th Campaign K2 is down to

    its last cup of hydrazine fuel!
  12. How common is life in the Universe? Kepler: Of the

    150 Sun-like stars within 50 lightyears, odds are that roughly 20 have an Earth-like planet!