The Kepler spacecraft monitors 160,000+ stars with continuous, 30-min or 1-min
sampling. Kepler's primary science objective is transit-driven exoplanet detection with emphasis on
terrestrial, R < 2.5 REarth planets located within the habitable zones of
Sun-like stars. The Kepler Science Center is dedicated to the service of the broad science
community, with a charter to promote the exploitation of Kepler data and broaden
the scientific impact of this mission. Kepler data
provide a unique combination of photometric precision, duration, contiguity and source
volume. The scientific community have opportunities to both develop observing programs and mine
Kepler's rich public data archive.
The community are encouraged to participate in Kepler's primary science and exploit the mission's
unique archive and observing resources to pursue unrelated stellar and extragalactic astrophysics.
From Oct 28, 2012 access to the Kepler data archives will be unrestricted. Images, pixels and light curves are downloaded from the MAST. Dispositioned and pre-dispositioned planet candidates are stored at the Exoplanet Archive. Ground- and space-based follow-up observations are archived at the CFOP. The Kepler project provides the opportunity for the community to add targets of any nature to the observing list through the GO program. NASA provides competitive, peer-reviewed funding opportunities to successful proposers within the GO program, proposers of projects mining the Kepler data archive (through the ADAP program), and grants for scientific investigations that further the primary goals of the Kepler mission (through the PSP program).
The 116 square degree field of view
is near-continuously monitored with 92% duty cycle. Sources in the magnitude range 4 < Kp < 21 will be considered for community target nomination. The Kepler photometer utilizes
one broad bandpass, ranging from 4,200 to 9,000 Å and the point spread function is
approximately 6 arcsec FWHM. Photometric precision is ~50 ppm for a
Kp = 12 G2V star integrated over 30 minutes.