This week, I have been at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA, where I have had the pleasure of attending the Second Kepler Science Conference, which celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the Kepler mission. There were of course many talks on the exoplanet discoveries made by Kepler, but I learned that Kepler’s science achievements go far beyond exoplanets – the mission has transformed studies of asteroseismology and binary stars, and studies of solar type stars too: Kepler is, for example, a gold mine for studies of stellar rotation.
The talks and posters are being archived on the meeting web page. I understand that many talks have been posted already, and the organizers plan to post the rest in a few days. Check them out if you want to get a sense of Kepler’s impact on astronomy. One of my favorite talks is by Frank Drake on Kepler and Its Impact on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Here is a word cloud based on the 250 abstracts submitted to the meeting: