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Making every click count

29 Aug 2011, 12:35 UTC
Making every click count
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We’re not much more than six weeks away from the DPS conference in France where Meg and I (but mostly Meg) are presenting our (but mostly Meg’s) work on estimating the number of planets revealed by Planet Hunters’ analysis of Kepler data. For many of us working on or taking part in Planet Hunters, the [...]

We’re not much more than six weeks away from the DPS conference in France where Meg and I (but mostly Meg) are presenting our (but mostly Meg’s) work on estimating the number of planets revealed by Planet Hunters’ analysis of Kepler data.
For many of us working on or taking part in Planet Hunters, the motivation is discovery – and who wouldn’t want a piece of cosmic real estate, a planet discovered through our efforts? Much of the Keck follow-up we’ve been doing has been aimed at exactly this, but it’s not easy.
Distribution of Kepler candidates as of February
Kepler, you see, was never really designed as a mission which would definitively pin down the discovery of a vast number of new planets. Most of the 160,000 or so stars being monitored in the Kepler field are faint, on the limits of ...

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