NASA Exoplanet News
11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, April 17
NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is responsible for the Kepler mission concept, ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
NASA will host a news teleconference to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.
The briefing participants are:
-- Douglas Hudgins, exoplanet exploration program scientist, NASA's Astrophysics Division in Washington
-- Elisa Quintana, research scientist, SETI Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
-- Tom Barclay, research scientist, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames
-- Victoria Meadows, professor of astronomy at the University of Washington, Seattle, and principal investigator for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, a team in the NASA Astrobiology Institute at Ames
Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone -- the range of distance from a star in which the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might sustain liquid water. The telescope has since detected planets and planet candidates spanning a wide range of sizes and orbital distances, including those in the habitable zone. These findings have led to a better understanding of our place in the galaxy.
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