The artwork for Ceres I showcases the orbital motion transmission spectrum of Kepler-186f. This is the technique used to find Kepler-186f. The light of the star filters through the planet’s atmosphere, while the planet is crossing the face of the star, which absorbs some of the starlight. The resulting gaps in the star’s spectrum are analyzed by astronomers to decipher which atoms and molecules are present in the planet’s atmosphere.
The search for Earth-like planets is a vital resource for the success of the Ceres program. A planet’s habitability depends on a complex network of interactions among the planet, other planets in its solar system, and the star they orbit. Our new home requires a breathable atmosphere, liquid water, energy, and nutrients.
The region around a star where a planet receives the perfect amount of heat to maintain liquid water on their surface is called the stellar habitable zone. The intensity and spectrum of the star’s radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone. The chemical analysis of the atmosphere implies that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.
The mission patch features the orbit of Kepler-186f around its star, where the top view of the orbit forms the letter C and the side view of the orbit the numeral I. A simplified emission spectrum showing the detected atmosphere. On a disc of dark blue featuring an orange outer circle enclosing the names of the crewmembers KURPERSHOEK and WHITFIELD.
The Ceres I mission patch was designed by the crew that will survey the surface of Kepler-186f on behalf of humanity.