Planet Exploration tonight (April 2) at Yerkes

Yerkes Observatory

Yerkes Observatory

From our friends at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay: 

Tonight, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from 6-8 p.m., the Yerkes Family Night program will be “Are we alone? Are there planets around stars other than the Sun?” The NASA Kepler mission has confirmed 114 such “planets” (known as exoplanets) and is watching 2740 more candidates. Astronomers and educators at Yerkes will assist families in making Kepler star finders that will help you find the constellations this spring and show you the patch of sky Kepler is watching.

We will model star and planet systems with an activity kit distributed by the Night Sky Network. The kit has a yellow foam ball for a “star” with “planet” inserts that attach to the star. We will use this kit to demonstrate three planet finding techniques: the wobble, a transit, and direct imaging using starlight suppression.

Then we will analyze real Kepler data as citizen scientists. Join us to become a planet hunter and help with the search! If you have the time before the event, please go to the login page at this site and create a login to be a planet hunter!

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