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Kepler Finds Over 1000 Planet Candidates

Kepler Mission scientists have discovered more than 1,100 planet candidates to date, two of which are near Earth-sized in the habitable zone of small, cool stars. Another 50 candidates, ranging in size from twice the size of Earth to larger than Jupiter, have been found in their star’s habitable zones.  The findings are based on data collected by the space telescope between May and September, 2009.  Ground-based observatories will be used this spring and summer to help determine if these candidates can be validated as planets.

Interview Excepts TRT: 39
Bill Borucki, Kepler Principal Investigator, ARC
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Bill Borucki, Kepler Principal Investigator, NASA Ames

Cut 1: 00:13- "We have found over eleven hundred candidate planets.  Now, these are candidates, but most of them, I’m convinced, will be confirmed in the coming months and years.  That’s more than all the people have found so far in history."
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Bill Borucki, Kepler Principal Investigator, NASA Ames

Cut 2 - 00:26 – “The instrument is working wonderfully.  It’s providing data 100 times better than anyone has ever done before.  It’s exploring a new part of phase space, a new part of the universe that could not be explored without this kind of precision, so it’s producing absolutely beautiful data.  We’re seeing the variability of stars like no one has ever seen before.  We’re finding planets smaller than anyone has ever seen before, because the data quality is so extremely good.”
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