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K2-138: Multi-Planet System via Crowdsourcing

19 Jan 2018, 16:57 UTC
K2-138: Multi-Planet System via Crowdsourcing
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

As Centauri Dreams readers know, I always keep an eye on the K2 mission, the rejuvenated Kepler effort to find exoplanets with a spacecraft that had originally examined 145,000 stars in Cygnus and Lyra. Now working with different fields of view, K2 has examined a surprisingly large number of stars, some 287,309, according to this Caltech news release. Digging around a bit, I discovered that each 80-day campaign brings in data on anywhere from 13,000 to 28,000 targets, all released to the public within three months of the end of the campaign. In the paper we’ll discuss today, this influx is referred to as a ‘deluge of data.’
Our datasets just continue to grow in a time of exploration that seems unprecedented in scientific history. I’ve heard it compared to the explosion in knowledge of microorganisms after their detection by van Leeuwenhoek in the 17th Century, though of course it also conjures up thoughts of early exploratory voyages as humans pushed into hitherto unknown terrain. But given that we are finding exoplanets in huge variety and by the thousands, this era surely has an edge because of the speed with which it is happening and its related search for ...

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