Exoplanets

The Diversity of Habitable Zones and the Planets

habitable zoneThe field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from the exclusivity of exoplanet detection to include exoplanet characterization. A key step towards this characterization is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. As the Kepler data continues to be processed, the orbital period sensitivity is increasing and there are now numerous exoplanets known to occupy the HZ of their host stars. In this talk Dr.

Mapping the Surface of a Rocky Extrasolar Planet: Kepler-10b

extrasolar planetKepler-10b is a terrestrial planet orbiting its host star every 20 hours. At semi-major axis of 0.017 AU the planetary surface receives a massive amount of flux that heats to approximately 2000 K.

The Kepler Mission: Zeroing in on Habitable Earths

Doug Caldwell is a SETI Astronomer and the the Instrument Scientist for the Kepler Mission based at NASA Ames. Dr. Caldwell will give the status of the Kepler instrument and operation, a summary of exoplanet results of the Kepler Mission to date.

Kepler was launched in 2009 and is currently in an Earth trailing orbit. It detects exoplanets by looking for small but regular decreases in the brightness of stars.


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