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Renderking Fisk
2005-Mar-17, 12:11 AM
Special announcement about Extra-Solar Planets to be made by NASA…

One of my readers just sent me a link to this news story.

NASA - Washington, DC, United States: “Science Update: NASA's Spitzer Unveils Extrasolar Planet Findings - Astronomers will announce major findings about planets outside our solar system, known as extrasolar planets, at a NASA Science Update at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 23.” (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2005/mar/HQ_m05039_spitzer_update.html)

I would like to know is how they define “Major Findings” and why have a special press release.

antoniseb
2005-Mar-17, 08:23 AM
Thanks, this is interesting news.

The press release that you pointed to includes this sentence:

The discoveries were made by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, when researchers discovered new capabilities of the infrared instrument to search for the planets.

Apparently there is some feature of Spitzer that makes Exoplanets stand out from stars more than with previous methods and tools. It may be that the announcement will be the discovery of many new planets, and the prospects for many more.

Spacemad
2005-Mar-17, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Mar 17 2005, 08:23 AM
Thanks, this is interesting news.

The press release that you pointed to includes this sentence:

The discoveries were made by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, when researchers discovered new capabilities of the infrared instrument to search for the planets.

Apparently there is some feature of Spitzer that makes Exoplanets stand out from stars more than with previous methods and tools. It may be that the announcement will be the discovery of many new planets, and the prospects for many more.

This is something that's very interesting! It would seem that NASA's been keeping us in the dark about some of the capabilities of Spitzer!

antoniseb
2005-Mar-17, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by Spacemad@Mar 17 2005, 08:53 AM
This is something that's very interesting! It would seem that NASA's been keeping us in the dark about some of the capabilities of Spitzer!
I suspect that we've been aware of its technical capabilities, but rather something we knew it could do allows it to measure something we didn't know would tell us there are exoplanets near a star.

I'm guessing it probably has to do with seeing elevated brightness levels in one IR band, and not another.

Guest
2005-Mar-17, 10:20 AM
I've heard NASA promise "major announcements" before. Ho-hum.

John L
2005-Mar-17, 03:36 PM
They've been talking abour Spitzer being used to look at circumstellar disks. Maybe the images had nice hot little points in them that could only be planets.

Renderking Fisk
2005-Mar-17, 05:06 PM
I highly doubt they’ll be announcing the finding of a new civilization… the most we can hope for is that they’ll announce a planet or several planets with in the hospitable zone for Earth-like life.

My greatest hope is that this will inspire the world to get together and cause a greater push towards Space Exploration. If there is such a discovery of more hospitable environments for us and a greater commitment for reaching the stars.

Like "Guest" said, there have been several announcements about future press releases and they've turned out to be pretty "Ho-hum." But I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt this time.

astromark
2005-Mar-18, 09:08 AM
:huh: Why do they do this? If they are contacting the news meadia to anounce an anounment. . . why not just realess the news. It would stop this speculative stuff we are entering into. So have they found a planetary system. I will wait.

Darrrius
2005-Mar-18, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by astromark@Mar 18 2005, 09:08 AM
Why do they do this? If they are contacting the news meadia to anounce an anounment. . . why not just realess the news.
I agree with you, but I guess If its real important news then they have to give the media a chance to get prepared. I hope it is a "Major Finding". Although simply finding more extrasolar planets is of huge interest, I hope there is additional information about them (ie in habitable zones, earthlike temperatures, earthlike sizes etc..)

Renderking Fisk
2005-Mar-18, 03:13 PM
I admit that I'm playing into the hype and I could look foolish if it turns out to be nothing.

I wouldn’t be suprized if they found other Earth-Like planets, but I would be very happy. I also wouldn’t be surprised if all the sudden these’s Star Trek Forums stopped talking about Science Fiction and started talking about Science Fact and how to get there.

I also imagine many more people enrolling in Science and Math courses in School, people taking up flying

The Future of Space Travel might not look anything like what we see in Television or the movies… but it’ll be better because we’re actually doing it.

Here’s another version of the same press release…
AScribe – United States: [Another version of the same press release on March 17th] “Science Update: NASA's Spitzer Unveils Extrasolar Planet Findings - PASADENA, Calif., March 16 (AScribe Newswire) -- Astronomers will announce major findings about planets outside our solar system, known as extrasolar planets, at a NASA Science Update at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern time), Wednesday, March 23. Researchers discovered new capabilities of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to aid in the study of these planets.” (http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20050316.164321&time=17%2003%20PST&year=2005&public=1)

Guest
2005-Mar-18, 10:49 PM
Well, what happened??? I was KOed all day Wednesday & only Thursday did I begin to recover my normal self - but only now can I be considered to be my normal self (about 90%! :P ).

What the dickens is he ranting on about I hear you say! Well it seems I went down with something like a 24hour flu bug!!! I had a very high temp all Wed evening/ night.

As I said at the beginning - what happened with the announcement? Have NASA discovered a planet or two in the "Goldilocks" zone of some far off star system or what? What was all the fuss about?

Somebody tell me - I feel as if the best part of 48 hours of my life have somehow disappeared & I´m still trying to catch up on news.

Planetwatcher
2005-Mar-20, 02:56 AM
Why do they do this? If they are contacting the news meadia to anounce an anounment. . . why not just realess the news.
Reminds me of the place I work.
We have pre-meeting meetings, pre-meeting agenda meetings, pre-meeting agenda planning meetings, and pre-meeting agenda criteria planning meetings.

Then we have post meeting meetings, post meeting critique meetings, and post meeting critique, and action planning meetings. :rolleyes:

I tell you, it&#39;s all a conspirisey to add excitement to something which is otherwise hum drum in hopes that we will actually pay attention. <_<


I agree with you, but I guess If its real important news then they have to give the media a chance to get prepared. I hope it is a "Major Finding". Although simply finding more extrasolar planets is of huge interest, I hope there is additional information about them (ie in habitable zones, earthlike temperatures, earthlike sizes etc..)
But on the other hand, it could be an announcement that Spitzer can and perhaps has found water worlds. Or possibley small planets not detectable before, possibley even in orbit of the closest stars, like Alpha Centauri, and Barnard&#39;s Star.

Renderking Fisk
2005-Mar-22, 10:51 PM
Big news: They&#39;re able to Photograph Extra Solar Planets in the Infra-Red...

I posted links to the first two stories I’ve found on The Fedora Chronicles (http://thefedorachronicles.com) main page under today’s (March 22nd’s) date and under “Eternity Road: Space Exploration and Astronomy - New Astronomical Discoveries.

Tomorrow I’ll have more links to more in-depth news stories.