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Exoplanet News Conference

You’ll want to see the news conference scheduled by NASA at 1300 EST (1800 UTC) today, an exoplanet finding of considerable interest to Centauri Dreams readers (I’ll have more on this later in the day). The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Links available here.

Briefing participants:

* 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 1500 EST (2000 UTC) with scientists available to answer questions in English and Spanish.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Andrew LePage February 22, 2017, 9:52

    Based on the list of news conference participants and the instruments involved, myself (and others) have predicted that this will be an announcement about new observations of TRAPPIST-1 where three Earth-size planets had been discovered by a team led by Michael Gillion (with the dubious claim that they were potentially habitable).

    http://www.drewexmachina.com/2016/05/03/habitable-planet-reality-check-trappist-1/

    Well known astrobiologist and NASA Watch blogger Kieth Cowing yesterday reported that the discovery of four new planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 will be announced which will bring the total to seven for this system.

    http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/02/spitzer-discove.html

    I haven’t seen any details on these four new worlds (since the details are embargoed) but I strongly suspect that the claim will be made that one or more of them is potentially habitable. Naturally, they will be the subject of a “Habitable Planet Reality Check” that will come out sometime in the next few days after I’ve had a chance to digest the new information and do my own analysis.

  • Harry R Ray February 22, 2017, 10:48

    A bit OT, but JUST AS EXCITING! The EXISTENCE of Planet Nine has JUST been ALL BUT CONFIRMED! A pair of extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNO’s) in different orbits have been PROVEN to be FRAGMENTS of a much larger PARENT BODY that was broken apart(i.e. NOT shattered by an impact)a la Shoemaker-Levy 9, by a VERY CLOSE ENCOUNTER with a MASSIVE object BEYOND PLUTO’S ORBIT! For details, go to http://www.deepstuff.org.

  • Ashley Baldwin February 22, 2017, 14:09

    Exciting times. Can’t see it being anything other than TRAPPIST. There just aren’t the assets available as yet to announce anything like a temperate terrestrial planetary atmospheric characterisation . Hope fully within a decade though , and if not Proxima or TRAPPIST then some other ( bigger and calmer ) neighbouring M dwarf planet . Lalande 21185 ? Got my money on it having an interesting planetary system . Role on ESPRESSO and/or EXPRES.