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Hunt For Earth-Like Planets Delayed

October 30th, 2009 10:44 admin

An anonymous reader sends along this excerpt from Nature News: “Kepler, NASA’s mission to search for planets around other stars, will not be able to spot an Earth-sized planet until 2011, according to the mission’s team. The delays are caused by noisy amplifiers in the telescope’s electronics. … The problem is caused by amplifiers that boost the signals from the charge-coupled devices that form the heart of the 0.95-metre telescope’s 95-million-pixel photometer, which detects the light emitted from the distant stars. Three of the amplifiers are creating noise that compromises Kepler’s view. The noise affects only a small portion of the data, Borucki says, but the team has to fix the software — it would be ‘too cumbersome’ to remove the bad data manually — so that it accounts for the noise automatically. He says that the fix should be in place by 2011.” Mindful of Halloween’s approach, NASA has put up a piece looking at some of the already-known exoplanets that wouldn’t be very friendly to human life.

Related Articles:

  1. Hunt Intensifies For Aliens On Kepler’s Planets
  2. Kepler: Many Red Dwarfs Have Earth-SIzed Planets Too
  3. Astronomers Say Milky Way Has Around 2 Billion “Earth Analog” Planets (That’s the Bad News)
  4. Where Would Earth-Like Planets Find Water?
  5. New NASA Sky Mapper to Hunt Stars, Galaxies, Near-Earth Asteroids
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