NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery


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Profile Jason Safoutin
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Message 1152199 - Posted: 14 Sep 2011, 19:50:46 UTC
Last modified: 14 Sep 2011, 19:52:38 UTC

NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery at Media Briefing

NASA will host a news briefing at 2:00pm EDT (11:00am PDT), Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission. The briefing will be held in the Syvertson auditorium, building N-201, at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be needed to achieve that milestone, Kepler is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.

A representative from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., will join a panel of scientists to discuss the discovery. The briefing participants are:
--Charlie Sobeck, Kepler deputy project manager, Ames Research Center
--Nick Gautier, Kepler project scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
--Laurance Doyle, lead author, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.
--John Knoll, visual effects supervisor, ILM, San Francisco.
--Greg Laughlin, professor for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.


The panel is very interesting. Has a SETI Institute representative ever sat in on a press conference regarding planets found with Kepler? And why Lucasfilm? Maybe this is something big. But they have hyped these in the past and I know I was pretty disappointed. Maybe they found another habitable planet. We need a good new space race.
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Message 1152545 - Posted: 15 Sep 2011, 18:51:39 UTC

They announced the discovery of a planet orbiting 2 stars. Kepler16B. The LucasFilm person was invited because the Star Wars film had shown a similar 3-body system. But they are cold stars, smaller than the Sun.
Tullio
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Message 1152626 - Posted: 15 Sep 2011, 23:18:12 UTC

I watched it...well the first few minutes of it. I then realized how disappointed I was in the entire thing. I guess this has to be expected of NASA as of lately though. I mean the discovery is cool, but the Lucas Arts/films guy or whoever seemed to be there just so they could use the Star Wars names and etc. Cool discovery, but one of NASA's worst press conferences on the books.
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Message 1152672 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 8:11:19 UTC

NASA Discovers Tatooine-Like Planet


ILM stands for Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas' FX company

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Message 1152673 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 8:17:13 UTC - in response to Message 1152626.
Last modified: 16 Sep 2011, 8:19:56 UTC

I watched it...well the first few minutes of it. I then realized how disappointed I was in the entire thing. I guess this has to be expected of NASA as of lately though. I mean the discovery is cool, but the Lucas Arts/films guy or whoever seemed to be there just so they could use the Star Wars names and etc. Cool discovery, but one of NASA's worst press conferences on the books.

It is a cool discovery though Jason!

I suppose we all get excited when NASA hold press conferences and say they have some "BIG" announcement about Exoplanets. Really, we're all kinda hoping that some day NASA will tell us the big one......That they found and confirmed life somewhere else. Then its a let-down if they don't announce that.

What we are confirming with the Kepler telescope is that other solar systems are similar to our own, and sometimes other solar systems will have strange and wonderful stuff that we don't have.

It is very cool to imagine two Sun's crossing the sky every day. What a wonderful thought......and now we know that it really does happen in other places!

John.
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Message 1152678 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 8:58:35 UTC

I've read that Kepler has problems in finding planets by the eclipsing method since stars are often more variable than our Sun and its takes a longer time of observation to determine if the dimming of a given star is due to an orbiting planet.But the Kepler people are really cool.
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Message 1152688 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 9:46:28 UTC - in response to Message 1152678.

The question is ;

Does Kepler have the capability of finding an earth-size planet in a habitable zone and how far out would it have this capability. Would it be able to determine if the orbit were nearly circular ?

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Message 1152692 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 9:58:46 UTC

I don't know.What I know is that the First Kepler Science Conference will be held in December 2011. Maybe this will answer your questions.
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Message 1152790 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 15:30:54 UTC - in response to Message 1152688.

The question is ;

Does Kepler have the capability of finding an earth-size planet in a habitable zone and how far out would it have this capability. Would it be able to determine if the orbit were nearly circular ?

Yes, Earth-size planets can be detected, and the orbital period coupled with the type of star allow determining whether it's in the habitable zone. Note that it takes three transits to be reasonably sure of the orbital period, IOW three years for a planet very like Earth.

The "nearly circular" question could be answered if the times when the planet goes behind the sun provides enough drop in luminosity to detect, unlikely for an Earth-size planet.
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Message 1152857 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 18:34:43 UTC - in response to Message 1152673.

I watched it...well the first few minutes of it. I then realized how disappointed I was in the entire thing. I guess this has to be expected of NASA as of lately though. I mean the discovery is cool, but the Lucas Arts/films guy or whoever seemed to be there just so they could use the Star Wars names and etc. Cool discovery, but one of NASA's worst press conferences on the books.

It is a cool discovery though Jason!

I suppose we all get excited when NASA hold press conferences and say they have some "BIG" announcement about Exoplanets. Really, we're all kinda hoping that some day NASA will tell us the big one......That they found and confirmed life somewhere else. Then its a let-down if they don't announce that.

What we are confirming with the Kepler telescope is that other solar systems are similar to our own, and sometimes other solar systems will have strange and wonderful stuff that we don't have.

It is very cool to imagine two Sun's crossing the sky every day. What a wonderful thought......and now we know that it really does happen in other places!

John.


I guess that's true and will agree to an extent because when they do announce life on other planets, what could really trump that? But It just seems they hype it up too much all the time. It is a cool discovery. But I don't like the idea of a scientific discovery being made into a commercial. This is awesome stuff we are dealing with and NASA treats it like a movie...I am surprised they don't do a "this press conference brought to you by..."

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Message 1152878 - Posted: 16 Sep 2011, 20:46:16 UTC - in response to Message 1152790.

Joe, Thank you for the reply. I am eager to see more results, one way or the other. It would be great to send a probe that would report back in my lifetime if we find a promising target near in.

We would have to jack up our propulsion methods to achieve the necessary speeds.

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Message 1153008 - Posted: 17 Sep 2011, 2:30:52 UTC - in response to Message 1152790.
Last modified: 17 Sep 2011, 2:34:00 UTC


The "nearly circular" question could be answered if the times when the planet goes behind the sun provides enough drop in luminosity to detect, unlikely for an Earth-size planet. Joe

Behind or in front of? Cannot understand.
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Message 1153024 - Posted: 17 Sep 2011, 4:05:26 UTC - in response to Message 1153008.


The "nearly circular" question could be answered if the times when the planet goes behind the sun provides enough drop in luminosity to detect, unlikely for an Earth-size planet. Joe

Behind or in front of? Cannot understand.
Tullio

As a planet crosses in front of its star, there's a drop in brightness because the planet blocks some of the star's light output. But as a planet goes behind the star, there's also a much smaller drop in brightness because the light reflected from the planet is blocked by the star. That effect has been seen for some of the very large planets in close orbit around a star, and if the orbit is nearly circular the spacing of those lesser drops is halfway between the larger drops.
Joe

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Message 1153493 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 8:35:23 UTC

Any probe we could send now would not be able to report back for several hundreds of years.

To me what makes this find interesting is that they have found a planet orbiting a binary star system. Previously when using the Drake equation they have ruled out binaries as having planets thinking that in such a system no planets could form. Lucas was somewhat criticised in his depiction of a planet with two suns back in the 1970s.
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Message 1153529 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 9:24:15 UTC - in response to Message 1153493.

Planets could form. Jupiter would be a sun if it were somewhat bigger. The orbits might be erratic or unstable and therefore not conducive to life formation.

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Message 1153624 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 16:11:01 UTC - in response to Message 1152878.
Last modified: 18 Sep 2011, 16:11:22 UTC

Joe, Thank you for the reply. I am eager to see more results, one way or the other. It would be great to send a probe that would report back in my lifetime if we find a promising target near in.

We would have to jack up our propulsion methods to achieve the necessary speeds.


I think if we want to find definitive life on other planets/moons other than earth, we need to send probes to the likes of Jupiter's moon Europa, Saturn's Enceladus and Titan...any of these three are the best candidates for bacterial life or even mammals. If Europa or Enceladus have liquid water under their surfaces, there could be an entire ecosystem on these moons. We already know Cassini discovered "organic" material as well as water spewing from geysers on Enceladus, so that moon would be my first choice. As much as I love Mars and hope we find something big there, NASA has several other better candidates for mammal life right under their noses, but avoid landing on these moons. If life is what they are seeking, they are looking in the wrong places so to speak.
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Message 1165216 - Posted: 25 Oct 2011, 5:17:06 UTC - in response to Message 1153624.

Two NASA space telescopes have helped solve some of the most enduring mysteries of the first documented report of star explosion — an ancient supernova spotted nearly 2,000 years ago, scientists say.

In 185 A.D., Chinese astronomers witnessed what they called a mysterious "guest star" that appeared in the sky and lingered for about eight months. It wasn't until the 1960s that scientists determined that this cosmic object was the first documented observation of a supernova that signaled the violent death of a distant star.

http://www.space.com/13374-ancient-supernova-mystery-solved.html
2,000-Year-Old Supernova Mystery Solved By NASA Telescopes

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