NASA Kepler Mission

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Launch set for Friday, March 6 - Mar 3, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Interested in extrasolar planets? NASA's Kepler mission is set to launch this Friday, March 6 (in a few days!), which will be able to detect hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets near the habitable zone. Kepler will search for planets using the transit method by measuring very small dips in the parent star's brightness (usually less than 1%!). A transit occurs when a star's planet crosses in front of the star, kind of like a mini-eclipse. When it transits, the star will dim ever so slightly.

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