Fanelli, Michael N. Astrophysics Division, Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Mountain View, California.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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- Kepler mission, published July 2019:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Kepler mission, published November 2018:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Kepler mission, published January 2013:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Kepler science operations
- Revealing exoplanets
- Exoplanet statistics
- New and strange worlds
- Mission's end
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A space telescope mission dedicated to detecting exoplanets. The tenth mission launched under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Discovery Program, Kepler was the agency’s first mission dedicated to the search for planets beyond our solar system. Its scientific goal was to describe the diversity of planetary systems by utilizing exoplanet detection statistics to estimate the distribution of planet sizes, orbital parameters, host-star properties, and multiple-planet systems. Of particular interest was the identification of Earth-sized planets orbiting in the “habitable zone” of Sun-like stars, wherein a rocky planet with a sufficient atmosphere could contain liquid water on its surface, permitting the possibility of alien life (Fig. 1). See also: Exoplanet; Solar system; Telescope
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