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More About the K2 Campaign 0

12 Dec 2014, 15:43 UTC
More About the K2 Campaign 0
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Now that were in the midst of the showing the first batch of science grade data from the K2 mission, I thought I’d give some more details about the K2 light curves and how K2 mission works.
Planet transits are small changes in the star’s light, a Jupiter-sized object produces only a 1% drop in the brightness of a Sun-like star and Earth-sized planets generate even smaller dips at the 0.01 % level. Kepler needs to the stars to be precisely positioned on its imaging plane in order to achieve the photometric accuracy required to detect these drops in light. To do this the stars have been positioned and kept at the same location with milipixel precision. Kepler was able to achieve this during it’s primary mission and the first half of its extended mission To do this Kepler used three reaction wheels (one for x, y, and z directions) with one backup spare to finely nudge the spacecraft to keep the target stars positioned during a Quarter. Kepler suffered two reaction wheel failures and can no longer operate in this mode. This effectively ended the monitoring of the Kepler field, that Kepler was staring at for 4 years. The ...

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