• IPAC

Period Pontificators/Howell and Ciardi


Using Kepler Space Telescope data to search for small scale stellar variability that may be due to eclipsing binaries, pulsators, star spots, or transiting planets.


We propose to study Kepler Mission data releases in survey form to determine the variability and nature of stars within the mission field. Within the time frame allotted for this project, we intend to individually study light curves, frequency domain and phase plots of 200 stars to better categorize the nature of their potential variability. Our research will focus on a random sample of 200 Main Sequence dwarf stars (class V luminosity), which are most like our Sun.

Kepler data will be integral to our research as the variances we are interested in studying (1-10 milli-magnitude) are not observable using ground-based telescopes. We intend to determine which of the stars sampled are periodic and to characterize their periodicity. Determining the periodicity of such stars will provide a basis for later comparison against light curves identified as potential planetary transits.

We anticipate identifying stars that have no periodicity, are eclipsing binaries, pulsators, have star spots, or transiting planets. We will aim to characterize each of the stars sampled.

Participant Educator


Ms. Stacy DeVeau

AZ NASA Educator Resource Center, Prescott,, Arizona University of Arizona, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension, Prescott, Arizona

Participant Educator


Mr. Mike Ford

Kickapoo Nation School, Powhattan, Kansas

Participant Educator


Ms. Debbie Kaiser

Sherando High School, Stephens City, Virginia



  • NITARP 2011 proposal review April 1, 2011

    The NITARP class of 2011 all submitted research proposals. Several NITARP alumni helped review proposals from the NITARP 2011 teams. (A BIG thank you to Dr. Geoff Bryden, who has volunteered to chair this committee.)

Related teams