Monday, February 20, 2017

More News -- On Recently-Uncovered Exo-Planets -- At NASA, Come 1 PM EST Wednesday...

I will tune in -- for the NASA-cast Wednesday afternoon results -- due to be published in a new Nature scholarly paper. . . but those few media folks hyping it as new evidence of extra-terrestrial life are likely. . . off the mark.

Here is the NASA release, from earlier today:

. . . .NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 22, to present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Details of these findings are embargoed by the journal Nature until 1 p.m.

Limited seating is available in the NASA TV studio for media who would like to attend in person at the agency’s Headquarters at 300 E Street SW in Washington. Media unable to attend in person may ask questions by telephone. To attend in person or participate by phone, media must send an email with their name, affiliation and telephone number to Dwayne Brown at by noon Feb. 22.

Media and the public also may ask questions during the briefing on Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA.

The briefing participants are:

· Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington

· Michael Gillon, astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium

· Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC, Pasadena, California

· Nikole Lewis, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore

· Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

A Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) about exoplanets will be held following the briefing at 3 p.m. with scientists available to answer questions in English and Spanish. . . .

Now you know -- and I should note that Dr. Seager is a renown expert in, among other things, how to identify bio signatures in exoplanet atmospheres. So. . . who is out there, oh you twisty copper-colored denizens of the Cosmos? Who indeed? Smile. . . . [Ahem. It is highly unlikely that life has been observed.]


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