Exoplanets & Exomoons

Kepler: Searching The Habitable Zones of the Brightest Stars

By Keith Cowing
September 3, 2013
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Kepler: Searching The Habitable Zones of the Brightest Stars

In today’s mailing, Hogg et al. propose image modeling techniques to maintain 10-ppm-level precision photometry in Kepler data with only two working reaction wheels.

While these results are relevant to many scientific goals for the repurposed mission, all modeling efforts so far have used a toy model of the Kepler telescope. Because the two-wheel performance of Kepler remains to be determined, we advocate for the consideration of an alternate strategy for a >1 year program that maximizes the science return from the “low-torque” fields across the ecliptic plane. Assuming we can reach the precision of the original Kepler mission, we expect to detect 800 new planet candidates in the first year of such a mission.

Our proposed strategy has benefits for transit timing variation and transit duration variation studies, especially when considered in concert with the future TESS mission. We also expect to help address the first key science goal of Kepler: the frequency of planets in the habitable zone as a function of spectral type.

Maximizing Kepler science return per telemetered pixel: Searching the habitable zones of the brightest stars

Benjamin T. Montet, Ruth Angus, Tom Barclay, Rebekah Dawson, Rob Fergus, Dan Foreman-Mackey, Stefan Harmeling, Michael Hirsch, David W. Hogg, Dustin Lang, David Schiminovich, Bernhard Scholkopf (Submitted on 3 Sep 2013)

Comments: A white paper submitted in response to the “Kepler Project Office Call for White Papers: Soliciting Community Input for Alternate Science Investigations for the Kepler Spacecraft”; 14 pages in length (that is, a modest 4 pages over the white-paper page limit)

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP) Cite as:

arXiv:1309.0654 [astro-ph.IM]

(or arXiv:1309.0654v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version) Submission history From: Benjamin Montet [v1] Tue, 3 Sep 2013 12:20:43 GMT (684kb,D)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻