Skywatch

  • April 23, 2009

    Episode 215: The Kepler Mission Launches

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    NASA's Kepler Mission was launched on Marcy 7, 2009 to begin its quest for earth-like planets. As the spacecraft slowly drifts away from Earth, the first order of business is calibration of the detectors and discarding the dust cover that protects the telescope. Kepler will look for the tiny dimming of light that occurs as a planet passes between us and the star it orbits. Kepler will capture this dimming effect as it "stares" at one part of the sky for three and a half years.