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PlanetHunters: the next steps

Hi Everyone!  The first two planets have been published, so where do we go from here? We reviewed several hundred light curves that you flagged and boiled these down to the revised list posted on the planet candidates page. The Kepler team has reviewed the light curves of all stars on that list –  several were identified as false positives, so we’ll be moving those stars off the planet candidates page.  However, about ten objects passed the first stage of validation and now Jason Rowe, Steve Bryson and Natalie Batalha on the Kepler team are looking at them more carefully and I’ll be traveling to NASA Ames soon, to meet with them about this work.

You also discovered several eclipsing binary systems and we are working with planethuner kianjin on this. One of our Yale undergrad students (Farris Gillman) is traveling to meet with Prof Andrej Prsa (at Villanova University) next week and model these EB’s.  We’ll post an update for you on progress from that work in the next week or two.

Another one of our undergrad students (Charlie Sharzer) is working on a senior thesis project, modeling the dynamics of moon captures by planets.  He is hoping to figure out which of the Kepler planets are a priori most likely to harbor moons.

The Kepler space craft is continuing to collect more data on stars in the field, however the Kepler field is fading from view of Earth-bound telescopes as we orbit the Sun – the stars will be visible again in April 2012 when we’ll be ready to follow up on additional  candidates that you find in the Q3 and Q4 data.

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