Meet a Kepler goal team

Jose Vinicius de Miranda Cardoso


Jose Vinicius de Miranda Cardoso

Student intern

Hometown: Campina Grande, Brazil

“Back in Brazil, when we initial listened about NASA’s Kepler Mission, a initial thing that came into my mind was, ‘These people built and work a space telescope with a idea to find Earth-like planets dozens or hundreds of light years away. They themselves are out of this world!’ Working for Kepler was an positively extraordinary experience. The goal and a query for habitable worlds are so fascinating that any day during work felt like there was going to be a pinkish box of donuts watchful for you. And that was what indeed happened. The feeling and payoff of being surrounded by a superb NASA teams of scientists, managers and engineers simply can't be put into words. Go Kepler!”

Doug Caldwell

Doug Caldwell

Instrument scientist

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I was in connoisseur propagandize study star arrangement in 1995 when 51 Pegasi b, a initial exoplanet around a Sun-like star, was found. we remember being unequivocally doubtful of this Jupiter-size world orbiting a star any 4 days. Little did we know afterwards that we would spend many of my career study exoplanets and assisting a Kepler goal find even some-more weird and extraordinary planets. In 1998, we started operative with Kepler’s principal investigator, Bill Borucki, on a Vulcan project. Vulcan was a small, 10 centimeter-diameter telescope designed to demeanour for planets like 51 Peg b that occur to pass in front of – or transit— their star as seen from Earth. At a time this proceed was not widely supposed in a astronomy village and Vulcan was a proof-of-concept for a many some-more desirous Kepler mission. we was partial of a little organisation (three of us!) operative on incorporating a Vulcan knowledge into a pattern of Kepler’s information estimate tube to assistance remonstrate NASA that Kepler would work. After NASA agreed, a organisation grew significantly as we began a notation work of conceptualizing and building a booster and information research tube that could guard over 100,000 stars acid for a little movement signals of Earth-size planets. My purpose shifted to uncovering a quirks of a instrument and bargain how they would impact a hunt for planets. As instrument scientist we helped manage a contrast and characterization of a photometer and helped rise a models and algorithms indispensable to regulate Kepler’s scholarship information and heed between movement signals from exoplanets and a mostly many incomparable artifacts from a instrument. While we suffer burying my conduct in a notation sum of a data, maybe a many gratifying partial of my time with Kepler is when we step behind and see how Kepler’s formula have essentially altered not usually a margin of astronomy, though humanity’s bargain of a place in a universe. We now know that there are not usually a handful of oddity exoplanets out there, though that there are some-more planets than stars, including heavenly systems with many that are potentially habitable. we am unapproachable to be a partial of a Kepler team.

Jon Jenkins

Jon Jenkins

Co-investigator for information analysis

Hometown: Merritt Island, Florida

“Nothing compares to when we get a booster adult there and it opens a eyes and sees for a unequivocally initial time. we was indeed going to work (in May 2009), en route, when we got word a information was ready. we got to work during 6 a.m., prepared to lay down with my coffee, looking during a data. we couldn’t utterly move myself to do it, we was so anxious. we indeed cleared a coffee pot – 12 people (in a office), though a coffee pot frequency got washed. we took an additional 10 mins to ease my nerves, to give it an additional scrub. Then we started pulling information across, looking during light curves. The liughtness variations of stars were unusual – all we illusory they could be. It was unequivocally easy right off a bat to see eclipsing binaries, lots of non-static stars and transiting exoplanets. A co-worker incited to me. He had this thesaurus of non-static stars. He said, ‘Jon, we don’t see anything like that in a encyclopedia.’ That was what Kepler was like. It showed us stars in a whole new light, in ways we’d never seen or appreciated before. Right out of a box, we knew Kepler would be a success.”

Steve B. Howell

Steve B. Howell

Project scientist

Home town: Oakdale, Pennsylvania

“Kepler and K2 have altered a march of tellurian thought. They have supposing an rhythm indicate not usually in scholarship though also in a unequivocally inlet of a existence. These missions have supposing paradigm-changing formula in stellar astrophysics, new views of cosmology, and their biggest finding, a find of a crowd of exoplanets including potentially habitable worlds sparse via a galaxy. Bringing together not usually scientists though all people, these dual missions, fabricated here on world Earth, give us postponement to simulate on ourselves and on a existence in a Universe. As in a Copernican Revolution, when we schooled we were no longer a core of a universe, we now know that we are doubtful to be alone, doubtful to be a usually life-bearing stone orbiting a apart stars. Yet for now, Earth is a usually home. All of us are critical and all a lives are precious. Here there is no room for hate, fear, and bigotry. Perhaps now we can finally allot with a fatuous and ignorant faith in fight as a domestic apparatus and select instead to go brazen together and turn emissaries to all life everywhere.”

Jeffrey E. Van Cleve

Support scientist

Home town: Newark, New Jersey

Jeffrey E. Van Cleve

“One of my favorite memories of a Kepler goal was a outing to an asteroseismology discussion in Aarhus, Denmark, in Jun 2010. We were vehement to benefaction and hear a initial Kepler astrophysics results, and we spent a few days as a scholarship organisation in Ebeltoft. Four of us – Mike Haas, Doug Caldwell, Steve Bryson, and myself – motionless to go on a event to Tycho’s look-out on a island of Hven in a North Sea, where many of a information analyzed by a namesake Kepler was generated. We got there 10 mins before shutting during 4 p.m. and were crestfallen. Then, Steve Bryson beheld that a immature male regulating a museum was reading a CERN web page, and suspicion he competence be meddlesome in astrophysics as well. He was unequivocally vehement that we were from a NASA Kepler program. He gave us a keys to a subterraneous look-out and said, ‘Just dump a keys off on your proceed out.’ So a 4 of us went over to a look-out and looked with bend during Tycho’s equipment, things that looked like hulk protractors and sextants kept subterraneous for a fortitude of a measurements – usually like a Kepler spacecraft, for that thermal control of a instrument is a pivotal partial of doing a accurate measurements of a shadows of planets around other stars. we felt good indebtedness for a people who had come before us in astronomy who did their work though computers or telescopes, though with a good passion for divulgence a past and foretelling a future, and felt good thankfulness to a taxpayers of a U.S. and a European friends who support a appearance in this good adventure.

Khadeejah Zamudio

Khadeejah Zamudio

Data estimate lead

Hometown: Sonoma, California

“I started in 2007 as a tyro workman for Dr. Natalie Batalha, while operative on my (master’s degree) in production during (San Jose State University), doing light-curve displaying of eclipsing binary stars on Vulcan (photometer) data. In 2009, we was hired on full-time in a Science Operations Center (SOC) as an operations engineer. Work as an operations operative consists of estimate a scholarship information by a lifecycle. The routine began with regulating pipelines to assistance a scholarship bureau select that stars to observe during a (data collection period). Then we’d trade those tables and send them off to be uplinked to a booster for scholarship observations. After 3 months of collecting scholarship information on a spacecraft, that information set would be delivered to a SOC for information accounting, (importing a data) into a computing cluster, processing, and export. The estimate and trade formula get pushed to a scholarship team, and afterwards delivered to a MAST (Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes) and a NExScI (NASA Exoplanet Science Institute) Exoplanet Archive for a scholarship community. Getting to use a NAS supercomputer to routine a large multi-quarter information sets was flattering exciting! It was always fun to go to organisation meetings to hear a scholarship formula before everybody else: when we found a world going around dual stars, or anticipating a heartbeat stars (binary stars that seem to beat some-more strongly as they proceed any other). It is tough to select a favorite scholarship discovery, though we would contend that Kepler 186f had a large impact on a team. Looking back, we consider this has been a severe job, though infrequently there would be fun times – like behind progressing on, we used to go accumulate behind in a discussion room to watch episodes of strange Star Trek. we remember examination ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ and eating snacks and meditative this was an overwhelming place to work.”

Steve Bryson

Support scientist

Hometown: San Rafael, California

Steve Bryson

“The plan developed over time. We started out (with) a outrageous program tube that we used to investigate data. we was holding shortcoming for converting pixel information into light curves. It’s mostly about meaningful that pixels we wish (and) accurately how light is widespread out by a system. We indispensable to exam information before we flew. We done simulations of all from how pixel values seemed to a booster by communications coding, (to the) belligerent and all a organizations it would upsurge through. It was positively critical; we suggested all kinds of problems doing that. Once (Kepler) launched, we was consecrated with a shortcoming of indeed measuring how light widespread out. It was sparkling since it was unequivocally high pressure. It fed directly into what we got from a spacecraft. We couldn’t do all a pixels; if we comparison a wrong pixels, that’s it. we got unequivocally concerned in validations of discoveries. My specialty was creation certain they weren’t soiled by credentials objects, by research of pixels. One thing we can gloat about is being second author on dual papers that certified discoveries: initial 800, afterwards 1,400 planets, all in one shot. Both of them reason a record. No other singular paper certified that many planets during once. One day we came home and my wife, Hanna, asked how work was. we said, ‘Fine, we found about 4 some-more planets today.’ Like that was normal. Then we paused, and satisfied what we usually said. Wow, it’s extraordinary what we get used to. What Kepler was doing: Is this singular or normal? The answer we came adult with was, wow, this is unequivocally normal. That’s what creates it history.”

Ann Marie Cody

Ann Marie Cody

Support scientist

Hometown: Sunnyvale, California

“Back in 2009 we was in connoisseur propagandize removing prepared to write my thesis. we was operative on some photometry projects, monitoring a whims and outbursts of immature stars (where ‘young’ in astronomy means a few million years old). we had used a Canadian space telescope MOST and was shortly to use a French space telescope CoRoT. But what was this Kepler telescope that had usually launched? Could we use it to observe immature stars? It incited out that a answer, during slightest initially, was no. Kepler was dedicated to a sold patch of sky, and there were no immature stars there. we instead became heavily concerned with a research of immature star information from CoRoT. But in late 2012, a mechanism disaster brought a telescope to a knees. Some 9 months later, a vital problem (loss of a greeting wheel) would strike Kepler too. But there was a ray of hope: distinct a CoRoT mission, that was unsalvageable, Kepler was still means to lift out science. The telescope had simply mislaid a ability to indicate stably. Kepler’s engineering teams came adult with a radical idea: re-orient a booster such (that) it was in severe balance interjection to a Sun’s light impinging on a solar panels. Kepler would no longer be means to glance during a same patch of space that it had spent 4 years on, though it could demeanour to wholly new areas. And in those new areas…were immature stars! In early 2014, Kepler was reborn as a K2 Mission. we practical for a postdoctoral brotherhood position during a NASA Ames Research Center domicile to Kepler. Some months after we changed to a Bay Area of California to work with this legendary telescope. It’s now been scarcely 4 years, and it’s one of a best moves we ever made. I’ve had a payoff to get a initial demeanour during impossibly high peculiarity and intriguing information on immature stars, and with that information we’ve done countless new discoveries. We have found orbiting blobs of dirt around them — potentially associated to a initial seeds of exoplanets. We’ve celebrated gas funneling onto a immature stars in outrageous bursts. And we’ve identified a youngest famous planets orbiting these objects.”

Christina Hedges

Christina Hedges

Support scientist

Hometown: Cambridge, United Kingdom

“Kepler has been such a model change for people like me. we remember regulating it for my pre-master’s project. It’s such a constant, such an insincere thing. I’m in a unequivocally absolved position to be in a initial era of astronomers means to use it as straightforwardly – from a commencement of my career it’s been available. I’m impossibly beholden for it. We use it so many any day; so many relies on it. It’s seamlessly partial of a astronomical landscape. we can't suppose what astronomy was like 20 years ago though Kepler.”

Joe Twicken

Lead systematic programmer

Home town: San Mateo, California

Joe Twicken

“I assimilated a Kepler organisation 1.5 years before a (2009) launch as a comparison systematic programmer in a Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC). The SOC was obliged for developing, testing, validating, handling and progressing a Kepler Science estimate pipeline. The tube consists of a set of program modules; when run in method a modules constructed photometric light curves for roughly 160,000 aim stars in any watching quarter, searched a light curves for signatures of transiting planets, and generated world models and vetting diagnostics to assistance heed between legitimate world possibilities and fake certain detections. we have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in a area of vigilance processing, and had already been concerned with NASA programs and heavenly missions for over 20 years when we assimilated a Kepler team. Working in a SOC was a fanciful veteran opportunity. Detecting a signatures of transiting planets, in sold little planets orbiting in a habitable section of their horde stars, seemed like a ultimate vigilance estimate problem to me. And so it was!!! The Kepler goal perceived a good understanding of visibility, and a formula revolutionized a exoplanet field. Significant contributions were also done in astrophysics and asteroseismology. After a few years in a SOC, we became a lead systematic programmer and insincere a larger shortcoming for a work of a group. My workmates were experienced, splendid and rarely skilled; they were also good fun to work with. we done friendships in a SOC that will final a lifetime. Developing a Kepler pipeline, and identifying a signatures of thousands of intensity exoplanets, was severely severe and rarely rewarding. we am grateful that we had a event to turn concerned with a Kepler mission, and we am unapproachable of my contributions to Kepler science.”

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