Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Hans Kjeldsen
Title The KEPLER mission: Changing our View of Stars and Exoplanets

NASA's Kepler mission was successfully launched into orbit around the Sun on March 6, 2009. Kepler is designed to find the first Earth-size planets orbiting stars at distances where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. The mission has been very successful and a large number of publications show how the Kepler data is changing our views of stars and exoplanets. Using Kepler asteroseismology we have detected detailed properties of the core in red giant stars including fusion processes and differential rotation. We have obtained detailed information on stars in different stages of their evolution. We have not yet detected a true Earth-analogue but I will in the present talk discuss what one can expect from analysis of data in the extended Kepler mission (2012 - 2016). Using the Kepler data for systems showing single- and multiple-transits we have measured properties for different types of individual exoplanets, e.g. mass, radius, albedo, surface temperatures, dynamical interactions and spin orbit alignment. In this talk I will present some of the key discoveries from the Kepler mission.