Countdown to Kepler March 3, 2009Posted by Sarah in science.
Tags: astronomy, exoplanet, kepler, nasa
Astronomers’ eyes are on NASA this week as the agency aims to launch its mission for tracking down Earth-like exoplanets on Friday night (early Saturday morning if you’re in Europe). Over its three-year lifetime, Kepler will observe over 100,000 stars in a small part of the sky, over and over again to spot the tiny dips in brightness caused by a planet casting its shadow onto the star as it passes in front of it. Together with its European cousin CoRoT, which has been in orbit for a while already, Kepler is likely to increase our tally of known exoplanets by a factor of many. There’s been a ton of great media coverage about Kepler already so I’ll round up a few nice links here. And there’ll be much more to follow!
Follow Kepler on Twitter.
A BBC story on British industrial involvement in Kepler.
Director of Hubble news Ray Villard (Cosmic Ray) gives his perspective.
A news story in Nature.
Image credit: Ball Aerospace