More Kepler Post Mortems

Confusion Over Kepler's 'Earth-Like' Planets Explained, Science

"NASA's mini fiasco in public communication last week was a scientist's attempt at public outreach gone awry. Kepler mission co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov of Harvard University, speaking at the popular TED talks, tried to convey the excitement of hunting for Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zones of other stars. But his sloppy terminology and careless graphics, says Kepler Principal Investigator William Borucki, led to headlines that Kepler had just discovered hundreds of Earth-like planets. That's not true, says Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. "I'm disappointed one of our members confused people."

Rumors in Astrophysics Spread at Light Speed, NY Times

"Last week, Dr. Sasselov was busy eating his words. In a series of messages posted on the Kepler Web site Dr. Sasselov acknowledged that should have said "Earth-sized," meaning a rocky body less than three times the diameter of our own planet, rather than "Earthlike," with its connotations of oxygenated vistas of blue and green. He was speaking in geophysics jargon, he explained."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 2, 2010 8:27 PM.

House Sci & Tech Committee Slams NASA GSFC on SCNS Contract was the previous entry in this blog.

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