Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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For those who abide the covenant, and those who do abide the covenant shall have peace and healing from the Spirit during the length of days and then shall they bear seed with all everlasting blessings and eternal rejoicing in the victorious life of eternity and they shall have a crown of glory together with garments of majesty and dwell in eternal light.


There are as yet no theories in astrophysics or cosmology that can describe what happened just before or at the moment of BB creation. Can only a theory of quantum gravity describe the processes taking place?  'Quantum -mechanics and Einstein's theory of gravitation-his general theory of relativity-are incompatible.' ( Morris p. 236)  An acceptable theory must  "explain why the four forces of nature have the specific strengths they do, and why they have the properties they have... No one knew whether physical laws and physical constants had the character they do because they had to be that way...[  Now it is not just]  "What happened before the Big Bang"...Now they... construct scenarios in which big bang takes place in widely separated regions of previously empty space, or in which new universes are created in ones that already exist... It is almost as though physical laws and constants have been fine-tuned to make the emergence of life inevitable. Small changes in the strengths of any of the four fundamental forces or equally small changes in any of a number of physical constants would produce a universe that was inhospitable to life." (Morris pp. 237-239) There has been and is now multifaceted surveys of the cosmos, data from these will be summarized from time to time. What follows is a summary of a big project.


THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, is one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy.  It was only limited by the sensitivity of the instruments and technology available at that time.  But larger ones are already being planned as noted in these studies.  Initially organized before 1999 it began to provided data in 2000 and over the next eight years of operation accomplished at least two Missions, with a third one in progress.

The SDSS surveys used a dedicated 2.5 meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico, equipped with two powerful special-purpose instruments.  The 210-megapixel camera can image  1.5 square degrees of sky at a time.  The spectrographs  fed by optical fibers measured spectra of nearly two million stars.  All of their data is available on line. See their web page.  The two key technological innovations that enabled the SDSS optical fibers and digital imaging detectors,  known as CCD's, to perform so well were discoveries that were awarded the 2009 Noble Prize in Physics. The technical fall out to the advantage of all of us is very great and is one of the reasons these projects are funded. They are more beneficial than can be imagined.  But the public should know of the discoveries more than a small group of astronomers.  

SDSS-1: 2000-2005, imaged more than   8,000 square degrees of the sky where there was the least amount of interference from galactic stars, about a fourth of the sky,  in five optical band passes obtaining spectra of galaxies and quasars. It also obtained repeated imagining of a large strip in the southern Galactic region. There is a portion of the southern sky not as yet mapped.  The initial work changed the approach to the Milky Way, SDSS-3 emphasized the MILKY WAY with spectacular results. In Nov. 2003 they obtained data on Dark ENGERY, and later that year their work was engaged in DARK MATTER, among the many objectives they were investigating, with most of the results available on line.  

SDSS-2: 2005 -2008, the objectives of their work in 2006 included the BIG BANG, (BB) and in 2007 they began work on the Halo of the MILKY WAY, part of their present investigations. In 2008 they investigated the great empty spaces between the filaments of massive aggregates of galaxies and determined gravity had created the great voids some more than 500,000 light years across.  The earlier model of Galaxy formation (Keel p. 181) is being revamped with light being shed on the dark matter behavior and primordial fluctuations,  gas dynamics and stellar evolution leading to Early Galaxy growth. (Keel pp. 189-191) Is Galaxy formation finished? With new financial support and expanded collaboration including initially 25 institutions around the world with more being added, additional surveys were conducted:

   THE SLOAN LEGACY SURVEY: This work completed the original SDSS imaging and spectroscopic goals yielding a database of more than 230 million celestial objects and the spectra of  930,000 galaxies and 120,000 quasars and 225,000 stars.  As the surveys continue, these numbers would be greatly enlarged.

   SEGUE: an extension of the Galactic Understanding and Exploration probing the structure and history of the Milky Way galaxy, imaging a vast area and obtaining the spectra of more than 240,000 stars in a variety of categories and selected fields.  SDSS-111 would expand this activity of improved stellar parameters from SEGUE-2.  More than 350 million celestial objects have been imaged.  Think of the time it would take you to examine these?

    SEGUE-2, THE SLOAN EXTENSION FOR GALACTIC UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLORATION.  The SEGUE-2 and BOSS programs require "dark" time when the moon is less than 60 % illuminated, or below the horizon. The APOGEE and MARVELS programs are executed during the remaining "bright" time. These are on-going programs.

   THE SLOAN SUPERNOVA SURVEY with repeat imaging of the 300 square degrees of the southern equatorial stripe to discover and measure supernovae and other variable objects, discovering nearly 500 spectroscopically  confirmed Type 1a, supernovae, the type that create heavy elements, the factory and furnace for all the elements except hydrogen, a little helium and a tiny bit of lithium. (Crown pp. 2000-2002) Type 1a supernovae are being used to determine the history of the accelerating cosmic expansion over the last 4 billion years.  Since supernovae are the sources for all of the heavy elements, their location in space and their quantity dictate and limit earths that can be formed from the heavy element clouds of their debris. (Arnett ) 

    THE MULTI-OBJECT APO RADIAL VELOCITY EXOPLANET LARGE-AREA SURVEY (MARVELS) searching very nearby stars, particularly those in the Habitable Zone, for evidence of "exoplanets" surrounding them.  These are planets outside our solar system. Hundreds of these have been found, they are now focusing on finding another "earth" like ours.

SDSS-111:  Among the main missions for SDSS-111 was to map the Milky Way, search for extra solar planets, and solve the mystery of dark energy. Though it has produced extraordinary data on the MILKY WAY,  the program included four new surveys beginning in July 2008 with data released in January 2011,  (Data Release 8),  and August 2012,  (Data Release 9), SDSS-111 will continue operating and releasing data through 2014. Some projects will continue after that.  Data Release 8 contains all images from the SDSS telescope, with the largest color image of the sky ever made, and measurements for nearly 500 million stars and galaxies , and spectra of nearly two million of them.  Data Release 9 also included BOSS spectroscopy data as well as accumulative SDSS archive information. This was the first spectra of the BARYON OSCILLATION  SPECTROSCOPIC  SURVEY (BOSS).  In 2012 they recognized that much of the universe is dusty, great dust halos exist throughout space. Light emitted by stars in galaxies, especially light at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths, can be absorbed by dust grains of silicon and carbon, up to a few hundred micrometers in size, present in the galaxies. To solve this problem they observe galaxies at longer wavelengths of the infrared and ultraviolet that then can be combined for each galaxy to account completely for the emissions produced by the stars. The far infrared data  is obtained, in part,  from the  HERSCHEL SPACE TELESCOPE and the mid-infrared data is obtained from the SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE,  and the optical-to-near-infrared is obtained from certain ground based telescope. V. Buat and others are working on this project which is pivotal in determining the extent to which massive star formation in galaxies is hidden from optical view. (Barger p. 192) New instruments that can peer through or into dust without any hindrance are in place and others are planned, but the HERSCHEL, launched three years ago terminated its mission on 29 April 2013.  As expensive as they are, the tools do not last forever.  This $1.4 Billion infrared space telescope exhausted its stores of liquid helium coolant at which point its scientific instruments stopped working. The EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY astronomers hailed the legacy of the observatory which had during the three years it had been observing and obtaining critical data, has helped to revise theories about the birth and death of stars. (Nature vo. 397, 2 May 2013 p. 11)  It will take a long time to digest and evaluate the data obtained from this telescope. 

Surveys SDSS-1  and SDSS-2 were a vast undertaking. Mapping Galaxies and Quasars were part of the main objectives. It obtained deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars.  Data was released on annual increments with the final data released from SDSS-11 in October 2008, with later updates.  Releases of data from SDSS-111 are now available on the SDSS web site.

The SDSS multiple surveys supported fundamental work and research across an extraordinary range of astronomical disciplines. One of the main ones was the properties of galaxies, the evolution of quasars, the structure and stellar populations of the Milky Way, the dwarf galaxy companions of the MILKY WAY, asteroids, and small bodies in the solar system, and the large scale structure and matter and energy content of the universe. Our Galaxy has a galactic central disk embedded in a vast near-spherical  HALO, or corona. The halo may have a total mass ten times that of the galactic disk. (Bok p. 25) Go to web site SDSS for details.


The results, though not all in as yet, provide precision measurements of early structure. There is in the line of sight to quasars a distribution of absorbing hydrogen gas, this is called the "Lyman-alpha"  forest, for each quasar mapped . The enormous numbers of SDSS quasars have made it possible to measure the clusters in the underlying dark matter distribution with high precision, at epochs in the universe from 8.3 billion to 12.5 billion years old, getting close to the 13.5 billion year time when elements and light became present.  They are stretching to get as close to the time when there was nothing but the plasma and whatever was there.  By mapping what was present in the universe in the earliest 8 to 12.5 billion year history they could map galaxy clustering, distribution, and determine luminosity, age, shape, and the properties, providing strong tests of galaxy formation theories and statistical determination of the relation between galaxy formation in a dark matter dominated universe.  See PART 4 for recent map update.

SDSS precisely mapped the rise and fall of the population of quasars, the most luminous objects in the universe, and thus the growth of the super massive  black holes that power them. Early on,

SDSS twice broke the distance record for quasars and early on had made a quasar harvest of ten of the most distant. But more was to come because distant quasars are extremely rare. SDSS has the advantage that comes from the size of the survey and the unique ability to look at objects across five precisely measured color bands.  Often the 10-meter KECK TELESCOPE in Hawaii  is involved in confirming and measuring the quasar's spectrum and establishing the distance.  Also engaged in confirming work is the 3.5 meter ARC telescope, near the Sky Survey telescope at Apache Point, N.M., and the 9.2 meter HOBBY-ELBERY TELESCOPE, at MCDONALD OBERVATORY in Texas. When the SDSS quasar survey is complete it will have combed more than one quarter of the sky. More than a million quasars will have been evaluated.  They are constantly writing and rewriting the book of quasars, evolution of galaxies, and many other topics of astronomy.  It will be years before everything is evaluated, and between now and then, the new data from new instruments and surveys will be flowing in. Maybe by then, some of the persisting questions will have been answered? 

Precision measurements of large scale clustering and cosmological constraints show the precise clustering made possible by the enormous size and high completeness of the galaxy maps. These provide powerful constraints on the matter and energy contents of the universe and on the nature and origin of the primordial fluctuations that seeded the growth of cosmic structure.


SDSS-111 featured a lot of new data on the Local Group which had 35 galaxies, (Bergh p. 8) three are larger spiral luminous galaxies.  ANDROMEDA (M31) and the MILKY WAY, are the two largest.  More companions have been added to Andromeda, a debate is in progress over which galaxy in the LOCAL GROUP is the larger. SDSS-111confirmed  more than nine additional small galaxies as companions of our own galaxy. They computed the time, about 2.5 billion years, that  ANDROMEDA and the MILKY WAY will merge sweeping up all of the satellite little galaxies.  Eventually we will all be part of one Super Galaxy.  SDSS-111 provided data on the "missing satellite problem," one of the key challenges in the understanding of galaxy formation in a dark matter dominated universe.   BOSS, by April 2013, has completed more than 2 million survey-quality spectra, to probe large volumes of space, along with measurements for nearly 600 million stars, galaxies, and quasars. 


They found stars that were escaping our galaxy, ejected by violent gravitational encounters with the super massive black hole at the Galactic Center. They now know something of the conditions at the galactic Center, the shape, mass and total extent of the Galaxy's dark matter halo so recently revealed by the new work.  They also discovered the acoustic oscillation signature in the clustering of galaxies. SDSS achieved the first clear detection of this long-predicted cosmological signal, an affect of sound waves that travel in the hot early universe and imprint a characteristic scale on the distribution of galaxies.  This discovery opened up a new method of cosmological measurement that is the key to BOSS, the largest survey of SDSS-111.  More than half of the achievements of this great undertaking, were chosen goals, but the rest were entirely unanticipated and not expected to be nearly as exciting and powerful as they turned out to be. HALO STARS are those that formed in the earliest stages of development of our Galaxy, which was then presumably much less flattened than its flat disk shape now. In all likelihood the building of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium had not progressed very far. The principal stars generally associated with the Halo Population include sub-dwarf  stars, globular clusters, RR Lyrae stars, weak-line extreme stars, and highest velocity stars. (Bok p. 109)  Many of these objects are older than 5 billion, and some may approach the maximum age of the universe. (Bok p. 121)  SDSS has taken a close up and intimate look at these halo objects.

Earlier studies of the Halo Stars and Clusters of our Galaxy have now been greatly enlarged and questions asked then are now answered and new ones have taken their place. But recognition of ages in excess of eleven billion for some clusters and recognition that the sun was younger than the earth was already in place. (Payne-Gaposchkin p. 137) 


Everyone is trying to fine tune the yardstick to measure the universe. By its enormous size the SDSS quasar catalog allows measurements of the large scale structure of the universe that reach to great distances and therefore probe early times. The most distant quasars cluster much more strongly than nearby systems, implying that they reside in massive concentrations of dark matter. The data also test models of the growth and fueling of the super massive black holes that power the quasar population.  Distant quasars live in massive dark Matter Halos.  But, they came up with more questions than they have answered.  By 2008 more than 75 Ph.D. thesis' were based on the findings of SDSS surveys.  The great search goes on.


The Cross-calibrating Galactic Spectroscopic Surveys,  APOGEE, in conjunction with BOSS, are making excellent progress in mapping the  MILKY WAY GALAXY with NEAR-INFRARED OBSERVATIONS, with some information released in March 2013.  It has been demonstrated that there is ubiquitous substructure in the outer Milky Way. The distribution of stars show that the stellar halo of the Milky Way is filled with complex substructure, a signature of a hierarchical build up from smaller components.  The motion of stars are correlated with their chemical compositions, evidence that today's stellar halo is a mixture of distinct families of stars. Bok had already identified five types of stars, (Bok p. 109) one group in open clusters, he estimated at 15 billion years old, (Bok p. 121) and thousands of the most chemically primitive, or oldest, stars in the Galaxy have been identified. New small galaxy neighbors to our Galaxy have been identified, and a double halo has been identified.  The new Milky Way map reveals a complicated outer galaxy, nearly thirty years after the work of the Boks.


The SDSS surveys have discovered the most distant quasars,  powered by super massive black holes, in the early universe.  This allows a probe into the transition from a universe filled with neutral hydrogen, formed by the BB, to an ionized universe with protons and electrons.  It was Bohr who i1913 established the model of the Hydrogen Atom. (Ridgen p. 34)  Hydrogen has a charge of  +1,  a single proton, without the electron it is ionized, then as things cooled, the electron with a charge of -1, could fill that charge and the hydrogen atom was complete. (Rigden p. 35) Hydrogen and helium are the two most abundant atoms in the universe. Hydrogen accounts for almost 90 % of the atoms in the universe, helium makes up most of the remaining 10 %.  For every 10,000 atoms of hydrogen in the universe, there are 975 atoms of helium, 6 atoms of oxygen and l atom of carbon. No other element reaches a level of even l atom per 10,000 of hydrogen atoms and the vast majority of the other 88 elements fall a long way short of this. (Chown p. 134)  After the BB, no more hydrogen or helium would be produced. Hydrogen and helium are almost non-existent on the earth. (Chown p. 134)  It takes an act of congress to protect what we have.  The quantity of hydrogen produced by the BB determined the destiny, the size and content of the universe.  Could this be predetermined for encores, is there a significant reason that demands that there is a required specific hydrogen quantity for each BB? When ever and where ever they, the preceding and later oncore BB's were set up, they were organized, they did not occur by chance. (Moses l:29, 33, 35, 38; 7:30; TC)  More on encores in future PARTS. 

While trying to account for the origin of all of the elements, which will be discussed in future  Parts of this series, the problem of helium was an extreme puzzle. In the  early 1960's Fred  Hoyle and his student Roger Tayler, were coming to the conclusion that at some time in the past, most, if not all, of the matter in the  universe must have passed through a multi-billion-degree furnace which had transmuted tremendous quantities of hydrogen into helium. As early as 1955 Hoyle had begun to realize that there was in fact far too much helium in the universe. In fact there was at least ten times as much as the stars could possibly have made in the six types of processes they were working on identifying.  (Chowan pp. 192-193)  There was going to be another process and it was going to be called the Big Bang. The light elements [Hydrogen and Helium] are fossilized relics from the early universe and their abundances are directly connected to the extraordinary conditions in the first few minutes of creation. As far as we human beings are concerned, however, it is the heavy elements, not the light elements, which really matter. They, after all, make life possible. And the keys to the production of heavy elements are supernovae. (Chrown p. 202)  Eventually it was discovered that nature used two main furnaces-the inferno of the BB and the interiors of stars. But Helium and the light elements were forged in the first 10 minutes of the universe's existence and incorporated into the first generation of stars. (Chrown p. 217)  That is what all the effort is about, getting the details. So why should the universe be constructed in such a way that atoms assembled in a human being acquire the ability to be curious about themselves.  It is really one of the great unexplained puzzles of science.  Mormon doctrines give much to ponder on. 


The surveys discovered a large population of failed stars, that were not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores.  These are called sub-stellar objects.  How do they fit into the scheme of things?  They are working on it.

Mapping extended mass distributions around galaxies with weak gravitational lensing  has discovered distant galaxies and celestial objects and shown that Galaxies are surrounded by "halos" of dark matter, prior to SDSS the extent of halos was inferred only indirectly. The subtle gravitational distortion of the shapes of background galaxies demonstrated that dark matter halos typically extend to nearly a million light years. SDSS results provide high quality images, distances, and stellar masses and ages for hundreds of thousands of galaxies, transforming the study of galaxy properties and correlating the data into a precise statistical science, yielding powerful insights into the physical processes that govern galaxy formation and noting the presence in nearly everyone of them of black holes, some extremely massive. The link between black holes and galaxies is now known for our own backyard. Some galaxies are metal-poor, they seem to be the youngest in the universe.  Galaxies also seem to come in families, chemically related and distinctive, providing a compendium of such families.

It is all about increasing light grasp and range.  This is the driving theme for all the effort. It drives the effort to sophisticate technological advances, such as the construction of huge instruments with performances on the ground and in space.  For a small moment in time the monopoly was with the Hubble Deep Fields which did involve wide spread collaboration and the combination of high-resolution space imagery with the very deep spectroscopy using  the 8-10 meter, and larger telescopes in select places.  The NEXT GENERATION SPACE TELESCOPE  (NGST) detect and resolve structure in objects much fainter than can be detected by any of the planned space telescopes.  Soon results will be coming from a whole new generation of huge ground-based telescopes working at optical and infrared wave lengths, with apertures of 30-100 meters, and resolution enhanced by adaptive optics, such as the twin 10-meter Keck telescopes built by the partner institutions which built the Keck, working on the scaled up 30 meter version: The California Extremely Large Telescope (CELT).  The National Academy of Science's long review and study and involvement organizing the National Optical Astronomy Observatories and the US Gemnini office toward a 30-50 meter GIANT SEGMENTED-MIRROR TELESCOPE  (GSMT).  And the ambitious project, the EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY'S 100-meter behemoth, OWL, (Over Whelmingly Large), capable of obtaining angular resolution and reach a visual limiting magnitude of 38 to 1,500 times deeper than the deepest HST images obtained. (Keel pp. 210-211) The potential gains from all of these instruments and others, are immense.

The SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY is named after the chief benefactor, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Many other contributors are also involved. SDSS-111 is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating institutions of the SDSS-111 Collaboration that includes more than 25 institutions and participants. The SDSS is a joint project of the University of Chicago, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, The Johns Hopkins University the Max-Plank- Institute for Astronomy, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory and the University of Washington.

It is one of the most successful experiments and survey operations in modern astronomy. (Kelly p. 46) MARVELS and BOSS spectroscopic surveys began in 2008 and 2009, and APOGEE began in 2011.  SDSS-111 will be busy taking data through the summer of 2014 with planned releases of data in December of 2014.  There will also be a planned release of data in July 2013.  There are also many studies and evaluations of  the data already accumulated that will appear from time to time by those who are completing such work.  PART 4 will continue these studies.  


Last March, 2013, NASA gave its final approval to launch THE OSIRIS-REX MISSION. It is set to launch in 2016.  It is an unusual and extraordinary mission.  It has as its objective a plan for a robotic spacecraft to gouge out or snag 60 grams, (about two ounces) more or less, of a 490-meter-diameter asteroid called Bennu, in 2023, and return the grab sample, or piece, for study. This mission has been put ahead of another $1 billion, unfunded as yet, robotic mission that would snag a 500-ton asteroid (no name yet) and haul it back to Earth orbit no earlier than 2022 for astronauts to visit it and study it.  (Science Vol. 340, 24 March 2013, p. 907)  All of this goes towards an effort to permit them to make sure an asteroid does not hit the earth.


One of the most successful missions in NASA's  HISTORY is in remission while engineers work on further investigations for what it can do.  The KEPLER was launched in 2009.  It was named after Johannes Kepler who had worked out  the Laws of Planetary motions. (Ostriker  p. 13, 18)  On May 15th,  2013, NASA OFFICIALS announced that the KEPLER SPACECRAFT  which had completed its planned mission of 3.5 years last year, would be put on hold.  It had began another extended 3.5 year mission in November 2012.   Officials had hoped that it would continue beaming back data until 2016.  But that particular aspect of its mission seems uncertain; the spacecraft needs three spinning reaction wheels to point precisely.  One of its four $200,000 wheels had failed in July 2012.  Then recently another wheel failed to function.  It needs at least three to position correctly.  It can no longer point in a specified direction due to the malfunction of the reaction wheels. So the spacecraft was put into safe mode while engineers work on the problem. KEPLER was a marvel of engineering. The $600 million craft has as its primary instrument a  l.4 meter mirror that funneled starlight to a 95 megapixel camera, capable of discerning dips in brightness as small as 10 parts per million, clues to the mini-eclipses caused by an exoplanet (planet outside our solar system) crossing a star's face. (Nature Vol. 497, 23 May 2013)  "Reaction wheels of this type failed, or were deemed too unreliable to be used, on NASA'S FAR ULTRAVIOLET SPECTROSOPIC EXPLORER in  2001 and JAPAN'S HAYABUSA MISSION in 2004 and 2005.  NASA's THERMOSPHERE  IONOSPHERE MESOPHERE, ENERGETICS AND DYNAMICS,  (TIMED) SATELLITE, experienced a single reaction wheel failure in 2007, and the agency's DAWN MISSION, suffered two failures in 2011and  2012." (Cowen p. 417)  John Troeltzsch, KEPLER program manager for Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, which built the craft for NASA said: "We first really realized how serious it was at the end of 2007."  The option to delay the launch or to add back-up systems was considered too costly and would greatly delay a mission already postponed twice.  SPACE STATIONS  in Ithica, New York inspected and made some  changes hoping the changes would prevent the recurrence of the types of problems that had happened before.  The built in obsolescence was for the mission to last 3.5 years, which it did.  It was planned to survey a group of 150,000 stars up to 3,000 lights years away and determine how common Earth-sized planets were in Earth-like orbits in the Galaxy.  But they found that the stars were more variable than the Sun, so they needed more time so they had extended the mission to 2016.  Thrusters on the craft might permit them to accomplish more, they will try to bring the mission back to life until the end of autumn.  Success will not be known until then.   Further analysis of the last two years of the survey may add hundreds more planets with orbits of similar length to the Earth's to the more than 2700 already tallied.  Hopefully they will get enough information to make  reasonable estimates of the frequency of Earth analogues in the Galaxy.  Sara Seager,  an exoplanet theorist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge said: "That the data may yield decent statistics about Earth-sized planets in orbits up to about 200 days, but not all the way up to orbits in the 'habitable zone' of a Sun-like star, which are around 365 days." (Nature Vol. 497 23 May 2013, )  A few more such planets may yet be found in the remaining data that needs analysis.  The mission ended just as it was becoming sensitive to earth-sized planets in Earth-like orbits around their stars.  See go nature.com/juykjr

KEPLER sought out and monitored stars like our sun, since they came to realize that suns larger or smaller than one like ours just might not do. They monitored more than 150,000 sun like stars in search of transiting planets.  They were looking for the Real ET! They found more than 2,700 planetary candidates outside the solar system. Charles Sobeck, deputy project manager for KEPLER at NASA'S AMES RESARCH CENTER in Moffett Field, California says:  "We are not down and out. The spacecraft is safe and stable. We'll proceed with our investigations. The mission itself has been spectacularly successful. We have lots of data on the ground still to pore through. "  Future PARTS of this series will summarize some of KEPLER'S the discoveries. (Science Vol. 340, 24 March 2013, p. 906)  http://scim.ag/Keplerend

PART 4 will continue identifying the instruments and tools and their handlers who are working on the universe, seeking to answer the many questions.  From time to time details of their discoveries will be briefly recounted.



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BAGGINI, Jullian, & Jeremy Stangroom, Eds., Great Thinkers, A-Z, MJF Books, N.Y., 2004

BARGER, Amy,  Clearing up the Dust, Nature Vol. 492, 13 December 2012

BERGH, Sidney van den, The Galaxies of the Local Group, Cambridge University Press,             Cambridge, N.Y., 2000

BOK, Bart J., & Priscilla F.  Bok, The Milky Way, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1981

COWEN, Ron,  The Wheels Come off  Kepler, Nature Vol. 497, 23 May 2013

CHOWN, Marcus, The Magic Furnace, Search for the Origin of Atoms, Oxford University           Press, New York, 2001

CLEGG, Brian, Before the Big Bang, St. Maritn's Griffin, New York, 2009

KEEL, William C., The Road to Galaxy Formation, Praxis Publishing, Chichester, UK, 2002

KELLY, Roen, Licai Deng, Xiaoting Fu, China's Race to Study the Cosmos, Astronomy, March 2013

MORRIS, Richard, The Big Questions, Times Books, Henry Holt  and Company, N.Y., 2002

OSTRIKER, Jeremiah, & Simon Mitton,  Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe,         Princeton University Press, 2013

PARSONS, Paul, The Big Bang, DK Publishing, Inc., London, 2001

PAYNE-GAPOSCHKIN, Cecilia, Stars and Clusters, Harvard University Press, Mass. 1979

RIGDEN, John S., Hydrogen, The Essential Element, Harvard University Press, Cambridge,        Mass., 2002

ROWAN-ROBINSON, Michael, The Nine Numbers of the Cosmos, Oxford University Press,      New York, 1999

WHITNEY, Charles A., The Discovery of Our Galaxy, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1971

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