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A Step Toward Eta-sub-Earth

  • Wesley A. Traub (a1)

Abstract

The Kepler mission observed exoplanet transits for 4 full years (greater than its expected lifetime of 3.5 years) until it became inoperable for its original purpose, as a result of a reaction wheel failure. Kepler was spectacularly successful in its goal of observing exoplanet transits of host star disks for the purpose of measuring the statistics of such transits in its target star sample. The Kepler data, when fully analyzed, will determine the statistics of planets in the underlying population, and in particular the expected number of terrestrial planets in habitable zone orbits per solar-type star, the quantity known as eta-sub-Earth. This report is an initial examination of Kepler's third catalog (Feb. 2012) of planets and candidate planets. I find that the apparent projected value of eta-sub-Earth is several times smaller than I had found from the second catalog, but that the data are now approaching the point where intrinsic biases can be uncovered. When all bias factors are eventually found, it is likely that the true value of eta-sub-Earth will be substantially greater than its current apparent value.

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References

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Batalha, N. M., Rowe, J. F., Bryson, S. T., et al. 2012, ApJS 204 article id. 24
Borucki, W. J., Koch, D. G., Basri, G., et al. 2011a, ApJ, 728, 117
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A Step Toward Eta-sub-Earth

  • Wesley A. Traub (a1)

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