Selection, prioritization, and characteristics of kepler target stars

Natalie M. Batalha, William J. Borucki, David G. Koch, Stephen T. Bryson, Michael R. Haas, Timothy M. Brown, Douglas A. Caldwell, Jennifer R. Hall, Ronald L. Gilliland, David W. Latham, Soren Meibom, David G. Monet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Citations (SciVal)


The Kepler Mission began its 3.5 year photometric monitoring campaign in 2009 May on a select group of approximately 150,000 stars. The stars were chosen from the ∼half million in the field of view that are brighter than 16th magnitude. The selection criteria are quantitative metrics designed to optimize the scientific yield of the mission with regard to the detection of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone. This yields more than 90,000 G-type stars on or close to the main sequence, >20, 000 of which are brighter than 14th magnitude. At the temperature extremes, the sample includes approximately 3000 M-type dwarfs and a small sample of O- and B-type MS stars (<200). The small numbers of giants are included in the sample: 5000 stars with surface gravities log(g) < 3.5. We present a brief summary of the selection process and the stellar populations it yields in terms of surface gravity, effective temperature, and apparent magnitude. In addition to the primary, statistically derived target set, several ancillary target lists were manually generated to enhance the science of the mission, examples being: known eclipsing binaries, open cluster members, and high proper motion stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L109-L114
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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