Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 July 2007
The Kepler Mission is a space-based photometric mission with a differential photometric precision of 14 ppm (at V = 12 for a 6.5 hour transit). It is designed to continuously observe a single field of view (FOV) of greater then 100 square degrees in the Cygnus-Lyra region for four or more years. The primary goal of the mission is to monitor more than one-hundred thousand stars for transits of Earth-size and smaller planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars. In the process, many eclipsing binaries (EB) will also be detected and light curves produced. To enhance and optimize the mission results, the stellar characteristics for all the stars in the Kepler FOV with V < 16 will have been determined prior to launch. As part of the verification process, stars with transit candidates will have radial-velocity follow-up observations performed to determine the component masses and thereby separate eclipses caused by stellar companions from transits caused by planets. The result will be a rich database on EBs. The community will have access to the archive for further analysis, such as, for EB modeling of the high-precision light curves. A guest observer program is also planned to allow for photometric observations of objects not on the target list but within the FOV.
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