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ASD Colloquium Series



"Kepler’s Final Planet Catalog"
Susan Mullally Thompson (STScI)

The Kepler mission spent four years staring at the same patch of sky, in half hour increments, in order to catch the small, periodic decreases in brightness caused by a planet transiting its host star. Kepler caused a revolution in planet discoveries by enabling the discovery of a variety of planets, including rocky planets and planets in the habitable zone of their stars. However, the true goal of Kepler was to enable a statistical census of planets, especially those planets that are similar to the Earth. Since the Kepler spacecraft stopped taking data in 2013, this effort has continued by understanding the data characteristics, improving the data processing pipeline, and doing one final search of the data for transiting exoplanets. The culmination of that effort is the DR25 planet candidate catalog. To produce this final planet candidate catalog we automated the entire search, from time series pixel data to planet candidates. By feeding the this fully automated pipeline a set of simulated signals we could directly test our pipeline and determine how much the catalog was contaminated by noise and account for how many plants were missed. In this talk I will give an overview of the Kepler mission and what it has added to our understanding of exoplanets, how the final planet catalog was designed to determine the frequency of small, long-period planets and what challenges remain in using this catalog to determine the frequency of Earth-like planets in our Galaxy.

ASD Colloquia are Tuesdays at 3:45 pm (Meet the Speaker at 3:30 pm) in Bldg 34, Room W150 unless otherwise noted.

Date February 13, 2018
Start/End Time 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM
Location B34, W150
Contact Eric Switzer
Email Address
Event Type Seminars/Colloquia
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