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A glitch in Kepler

4 Nov 2009, 00:06 UTC
A glitch in Kepler
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The Kepler spacecraft is supposed to continuously watch a hundred thousand stars to detect the slight dimming that would indicate the presence of a planet. The bad news is that the spacecraft has a few noisy electronic components: while Kepler should still be able to detect larger planets, the noise is enough that will be difficult to discover Earth-sized planets. The good news is that this problem can be fixed by software, and the software fix for Kepler should be in place by 2011.

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