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domingo, 21 de diciembre de 2014

NASA :Mission Manager Update: K2 Campaign 3 underway.- Update Manager Misión: Campaña K2 3 en curso

Hola amigos: A VUELO DE UN QUINDE EL BLOG., la Agencia Espacial NASA, nos informa que el Telescopio Espacial Kepler, que investiga detectar un probable planeta de la Zona de Habitabilidad Galáctica entre la s Constelaciones de Cisne y Lira:  haya la probabilidad vida igual como la tenemos en La Tierra.
NASA. nos dice :
"Kepler y K2 han mantenido el equipo muy ocupado en el último par de meses, y que están atrasados en proporcionar una actualización sobre el gran trabajo que ha estado pasando. La nave espacial sigue llevando a cabo magníficamente en su configuración de dos ruedas y está recogiendo datos de forma activa para la misión K2, mientras que el equipo ha seguido para sintonizar las operaciones para mejorar el rendimiento de la ciencia. Mientras tanto, seguimos analizando los cuatro años completos de datos de Kepler y la entrega de los nuevos datos de K2......

Comet Siding Spring passes through K2's Field-of-View
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames/W Stenzel; SETI Institute/D Caldwell
 Kepler and K2 have kept the team very busy over the past couple of months, and we are overdue on providing an update on the great work that's been going on. The spacecraft continues to perform superbly in its two-wheel configuration and is actively collecting data for the K2 mission, while the team has continued to tune the operations to improve the science yield. Meanwhile, we continue analyzing the full four years of Kepler data and delivering the new K2 data to the public at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST).

K2 is now in its seventh month of operation and began its third campaign on Nov. 12. The Campaign 3 field-of-view includes more than 16,000 target stars, which can be searched for exoplanets and examined for an array of astrophysical information. This campaign also includes observations of a number of objects within our own solar system, including the dwarf planet (225088) 2007 OR10, the largest known body without a name in the solar system, and the planet Neptune and its moon Nereid.
Campaign 0 data have been delivered to MAST, and Campaign 1 data will follow later this month. Campaign 2 will be processed with a scheduled delivery in February 2015.
Target proposals for Campaigns 6 and 7 are now being accepted. The deadline for K2 Cycle-2 Stage-1 Guest Observer proposals is 11:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 16, 2015. For the full schedule of operational milestones see the K2 Mission Timeline.
On Oct. 20, the Kepler spacecraft joined the fleet of NASA science assets that observed distant Oort Cloud native Comet Siding Spring as it passed through K2's Campaign 2 field-of-view on its long journey around the sun. The data collected by K2 will add to the study of the comet, giving scientists an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the materials, including water and carbon compounds, that existed during the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
To learn more about the K2 mission visit the Kepler Science Center website.
While K2 operations proceed, the Kepler team continues work on finalizing the data processing and products for the prime mission. The team is also anticipating another mission milestone: the 1,000th exoplanet discovered by Kepler.
To-date Kepler has identified more than 4,000 planet candidates, and 996 have been verified as bona fide planets. For the latest Kepler exoplanet and candidate statistics, visit the NASA Exoplanet Archive.
In January 2015, members of the team will participate in the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle. We look forward to the meeting and sharing the latest scientific results using Kepler and K2 data.
The following are highlights of recent research using Kepler and K2 data that have been accepted by a peer-review journal:

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Reborn Kepler Can Still Find Planets
The artistic impression shows NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. In May the spacecraft began its new mission observing in the ecliptic plane, the orbital path of Earth around the sun, depicted by the grey-blue line marked by opaque cross-like shapes. Each shape represents the field-of-view of an observing campaign.
The K2 mission observes a specific portion of the distant sky for approximately 80 days, until it is necessary to rotate the spacecraft to prevent sunlight from entering the telescope. The spacecraft orbits the sun every 372 days as it trails Earth, allowing for four full campaigns per orbit or year. The arching band of stars is the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Using publicly available data collected by the spacecraft in February 2014 during the performance concept test to prove K2 would work, astronomers have confirmed the first exoplanet detected by the K2 mission. The newly confirmed planet, HIP 116454b, is 2.5 times the diameter of Earth, and closely orbits a star smaller and cooler than our sun once every nine days, making the planet too hot for life as we know it. The star and planet are 180 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Pisces.
In May 2013, data collection for Kepler's extended prime mission came to an end when the second of four reaction wheels used to stabilize the spacecraft failed. Without at least three functioning reaction wheels, Kepler couldn’t be pointed at the original field with sufficient stability to precisely measure the dimming of starlight caused by a planet when it passes or transits in front of a distant star.
Rather than giving up on the stalwart spacecraft, a team of scientists and engineers crafted a resourceful strategy to use pressure from sunlight as a virtual reaction wheel to help control the spacecraft while observing the sky in the ecliptic plane. The resulting K2 mission promises to not only continue Kepler’s planet hunt, but to expand that search to bright nearby stars which harbor planets that allow scientists to study them in detail to better understand their composition. K2 will also introduce new opportunities to observe star clusters, active galaxies, and supernovae.
Link to full NASA press release: 
Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle

NASA’s Kepler Reborn, Makes First Exoplanet Find of New Mission

artistic concept shows NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft
The artistic concept shows NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2's first exoplanet discovery proving Kepler can still find planets.
Image Credit: 
NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission -- K2.
The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
"Last summer, the possibility of a scientifically productive mission for Kepler after its reaction wheel failure in its extended mission was not part of the conversation," said Paul Hertz, NASA's astrophysics division director at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Today, thanks to an innovative idea and lots of hard work by the NASA and Ball Aerospace team, Kepler may well deliver the first candidates for follow-up study by the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize the atmospheres of distant worlds and search for signatures of life."
Lead researcher Andrew Vanderburg, a graduate student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied publicly available data collected by the spacecraft during a test of K2 in February 2014. The discovery was confirmed with measurements taken by the HARPS-North spectrograph of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in the Canary Islands, which captured the wobble of the star caused by the planet’s gravitational tug as it orbits.
The newly confirmed planet, HIP 116454b, is 2.5 times the diameter of Earth and follows a close, nine-day orbit around a star that is smaller and cooler than our sun, making the planet too hot for life as we know it. HIP 116454b and its star are 180 light-years from Earth, toward the constellation Pisces.
Kepler’s onboard camera detects planets by looking for transits -- when a distant star dims slightly as a planet crosses in front of it. The smaller the planet, the weaker the dimming, so brightness measurements must be exquisitely precise. To enable that precision, the spacecraft must maintain steady pointing. In May 2013, data collection during Kepler's extended prime mission came to an end with the failure of the second of four reaction wheels, which are used to stabilize the spacecraft.
Rather than giving up on the stalwart spacecraft, a team of scientists and engineers crafted a resourceful strategy to use pressure from sunlight as a “virtual reaction wheel” to help control the spacecraft. The resulting K2 mission promises to not only continue Kepler’s planet hunt, but also to expand the search to bright nearby stars that harbor planets that can be studied in detail and better understand their composition. K2 also will introduce new opportunities to observe star clusters, active galaxies and supernovae.
Small planets like HIP 116454b, orbiting nearby bright stars, are a scientific sweet spot for K2 as they are good prospects for follow-up ground studies to obtain mass measurements. Using K2’s size measurements and ground-based mass measurements, astronomers can calculate the density of a planet to determine whether it is likely a rocky, watery or gaseous world.
"The Kepler mission showed us that planets larger in size than Earth and smaller than Neptune are common in the galaxy, yet they are absent in our solar system," said Steve Howell, Kepler/K2 project scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. "K2 is uniquely positioned to dramatically refine our understanding of these alien worlds and further define the boundary between rocky worlds like Earth and ice giants like Neptune."
Since the K2 mission officially began in May 2014, it has observed more than 35,000 stars and collected data on star clusters, dense star-forming regions, and several planetary objects within our own solar system. It is currently in its third campaign.
The research paper reporting this discovery has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
Ames is responsible for Kepler's mission concept, ground system development, science data analysis and K2 mission operations. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and was funded by the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For more information about the Kepler mission, visit:
Guillermo Gonzalo Sánchez Achutegui
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