Kepler Mission – First Light Update – With Jon Jenkins

We’ve all been here walking from one side of the room to the other, eagerly waiting for that special moment, the moment when Kepler peels of its sleep mask and awakes up, beholding the stars ahead, capturing its first light.

Well…it looks like Kepler is already slightly opening its dreamy eyes to the Milky Way!

It is like when you are sleeping and the blinds allow the first rays of the morning Sun to pass, touching your eyelids, calling you for a whole new day ahead…


Let us read what BtC collaborator, Jon Jenkins, Kepler Co-Investigator, had to tell us:


jenkins_jon_3_enh11We had our “first light” already with some sunlight making it in around the dust cover, but found a different attitude at which almost no light entered the telescope so that we could get a good dark frame for comparison with preflight test, and that can be used to formulate some of our calibration products. In retrospect, it’s nice to see that all 42 science CCDs and 4 Fine Guidance Sensor CCDs are responding to light as well as behaving as expected in dark frames.


Besides being really excited and happy for the the team for everything being working out as expected I am also really joyful to know that this mission is in the hands of such precautious people like Jon Jenkins…even it what concerns important details as the logistics of celebrating Kepler’s key moments…:


I did bring in some Guiness to celebrate our “first dark” and some Bodington’s to celebrate our first subtle “creamy light” images. I’m ready for some champagne once the cover comes off, and it’s been chilling in the fridge plenty long now.


If you are thinking when will that cork pop out, Natalie Batalha just informed Beyond the Cradle that the cover ejection will probably take place early next week.


Got your glass ready?…

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