NASA's Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 with the focused goal of surveying regions of the Milky Way Galaxy to discover Earth-size planets. The spacecraft's detection instrument is a photometer that continually monitors 145,000 stars to locate exoplanets in the "habitable zone" of a star, where liquid water and possibly life might exist.
The website tracks information about mission results, with more than 2,000 candidates identified after the first year's operation. Of those, two Earth-size candidates have been confirmed as of January, 2012. Educators will also find classroom activities, interactive resources, simple animations showing how the detection system works, and galleries of photos, videos and 3D images.
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6-8: 3A/M2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.
4. The Physical Setting
4A. The Universe
9-12: 4A/H1a. The stars differ from each other in size, temperature, and age, but they appear to be made up of the same elements found on earth and behave according to the same physical principles.
9-12: 4A/H1b. Unlike the sun, most stars are in systems of two or more stars orbiting around one another.
9-12: 4A/H2ef. Eventually, some stars exploded, producing clouds containing heavy elements from which other stars and planets orbiting them could later condense. The process of star formation and destruction continues.
9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
9-12: 4A/H4. Mathematical models and computer simulations are used in studying evidence from many sources in order to form a scientific account of the universe.
%0 Electronic Source %D December 31, 2011 %T Kepler: A Search for Habitable Planets %I NASA Ames Research Center %V 2014 %N 23 November 2014 %8 December 31, 2011 %9 video/quicktime %U http://kepler.nasa.gov/
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