case western reserve university



Kepler and the Search for Habitable Earths

William Cochran (Texas)

The Kepler spacecraft, launched in March 2009, is designed to detect potentially habitable Earths around other stars by detecting the transits of these planets across the disks of their parent stars. This requires performing differential photometry to a precision of 20ppm on a sample of 170,000 stars for a period of 3.5 years. We will discuss the on-orbit performance of the Kepler photometer, and then present scientific results from the first year of Kepler data. In addition to several transiting planet systems, we will present observations of transiting multi-planet systems and several other interesting objects.