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Paper: KEPLER Mission Status
Volume: 366, Transiting Extrasolar Planets Workshop
Page: 309
Authors: Borucki, W.J.; Koch, D.G.; Lissauer, J.; Basri, G.; Brown, T.; Caldwell, D.A.; Jenkins, J.M.; Caldwell, J.J.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Cochran, W.D.; Dunham, E.W.; Gautier, T.N.; Geary, J.C.; Latham, D.; Sasselov, D.; Gilliland, R.L.; Howell, S.; Monet, D.G.; Batalha, N.
Abstract: Kepler is a Discovery-class mission designed to determine the frequency of Earth-size and smaller planets in and near the habitable zone (HZ) of dwarf stars. The instrument consists of a 0.95-m aperture photometer capable of doing high precision photometry of more than 100,000 late-type main sequence stars to search for patterns of transits. Multi-band ground-based observation of over 2 million stars is currently underway to estimate the stellar parameters and to choose appropriate targets. The association of planet size and occurrence frequency with stellar mass and metallicity will be investigated. At the end of the four year mission, several hundred terrestrial planets (i.e., planets up to twice the diameter of the Earth) should be discovered with periods between one day and 400 days if such planets are common. As many as 100 Earth-size planets in the HZ could be discovered. A null result would imply that terrestrial planets are rare. The scientific community is invited to participate through the Participating Scientist, Guest Observer and Data Analysis programs.
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