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Kepler Mission

Kepler is a roughly 1-meter-diameter telescope that is staring at 150,000 Sun-like stars in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra. It will watch those stars for about three and a half years continuously, without ever closing its eyes. Kepler will look for events called transits, in which a planet briefly passes in front of its parent star, blocking a little bit of the star’s light. The goal is to find Earth-size planets around Sun-like stars.

Radio Programs

Searching for Neighbors III The mystery of Tabby’s Star November 9, 2016

16 Cygni A pair of old stellar neighbors November 6, 2016

The Search Continues The search for planets continues April 12, 2015

Doomed Planets Doomed planets around a dying star August 23, 2014

Planet Bonanza A plenitude of exoplanets August 22, 2014

K2 Plan K2 from outer space March 5, 2014

Double Duty A space telescope does double duty March 4, 2014

In-Between Planets Super-Earths and mini-Neptunes March 3, 2014

Kepler A space telescope piles up the planets March 2, 2014

Earths Galore Earth-like planets by the millions February 21, 2014

HAT P-7 Cooling off a distant star August 15, 2013

Four Suns A world with four suns in the sky March 7, 2013

Planet Hunters Hunting for leftover planets March 6, 2013

Ringing Beat The beat of vibrating stars March 5, 2013

Side Jobs A space telescope gets some extra jobs March 4, 2013

Superflares Super explosions on other stars January 22, 2013

Moon and Jupiter Tiny planets around a tiny star January 20, 2013

Spinning Hearts The spinning hearts of giant stars August 1, 2012

Kepler III Two ways to find planets August 26, 2011

Kepler II Winnowing a list of possible planets August 25, 2011

Kepler I Watching for some stars to blink August 24, 2011

Kepler 11 A star with a big family of planets April 21, 2011

Basket O' Planets A basketful of planets April 20, 2011

Counting Planets II Keeping score in the search for planets January 19, 2011

Counting Planets Adding to the planetary census January 18, 2011

Habitable Zones Looking for worlds with rainy days January 17, 2011

Featured Images

Artist's concept of a double sunset on exoplanet Kepler 16

Double Sunset March 5, 2014

Artist's concept of exoplanet system KOI-961, discovered by Kepler spacecraft

Worlds Galore March 3, 2014

Artist's concept of extrasolar planet Kepler 78b, an Earth-sized world

Hot Rock October 31, 2013

Artist's concept of the Kepler-35 system, with a giant planet orbiting two stars

Seeing Double April 4, 2012

Artist's concept of the planetary system Kepler 11

Close Family April 22, 2011