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View Diary: Kepler Rises (134 comments)

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  •  A possible side benefit (0+ / 0-)

    of this machine Might be another way of finding those "stray" rocks that might bang into earth, in time to maybe do something about them.

    It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. Voltaire

    by KatGirl on Sun Mar 08, 2009 at 08:28:19 AM PDT

    •  Not Kepler (0+ / 0-)
      It's not really designed for it.  Pan-STARRS, a four-telescope array, is being built now (PS1 went online in December, the last one is scheduled to be done by 2012) specifically for that mission.  The US Air Force is funding the construction, with operations being the responsibility of an international group.

      While it's primary role is detecting NEO rocks, astronomical observation being what it is, it's also going to be used for research into the asteroid belt, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects, variable stars, and the like.  Basically, Pan-STARRS is meant to identify something that's changing, either in position or in brightness.

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