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Old 11-23-2006, 02:37 AM   #1
Windu Chi
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Cool Guy The Kepler Mission: Looking for Earth-sized Worlds

The link to the telescope Kepler Mission The Kepler Mission has a simple objective: find small planets around other stars - worlds like Earth that could possibly spawn life. It promises to be one of the most exciting astronomy projects of the coming decade. It is suppose to be launch sometime in 2007.
But, I doubt it given the present state of NASA.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Shostak
In the last half-dozen years, astronomers have made a remarkable discovery: roughly 5 - 10% of stars similar to the Sun have planets. They have observed this fraction of stars to periodically wobble in response to the orbital motion of unseen worlds. However, every one of the planets detected by this method is hefty, typically the size of Jupiter or larger. This preponderance of massive worlds is an inevitable consequence of the detection scheme: only large planets induce measurable wobbles.

Giant planets are fine, but the holy grail of planet detection is to find Earth-sized worlds and, better still, find those that are in the "habitable zone" of their star - at distances that would allow oceans to exist. The Kepler Mission will be able to do that, not by searching for wobbles, but by very accurately measuring the light from stars.
I want to know what are y'all opinions of the telescope finding Earth-size planets.
I think the chances are about est. 90%, since there are est. 200 billion stars in our galaxy.
So, the astrophysicists still have a lot of territory to cover, est. 7,854,000,000 sq. lightyears of galactic area to cover.
Also there is 20 billion est. Sol(Sun) type stars to search in that region of galactic area.

Here is a PDF link New Worlds Imager to a technical(lots of math equations) book of how astrophysicists search for planets with a space telescope called the New Worlds Imager.

Last edited by windu6; 11-23-2006 at 06:32 AM.
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