Astronomy: August 2010 Archives

Webb Troubles Continue

Telescope promises new look at universe -- if NASA can get it into space, Orlando Sentinel

"When it works, and if it works, the James Webb Space Telescope could revolutionize astronomy by peering so deep into space that scientists soon could study the dawn of time. But construction of NASA's next big telescope has been so hurt by delays and cost overruns that even its staunchest champion in Congress reached a breaking point. In a letter dated June 29, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., all but ordered NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden to assemble a panel of outside experts to ensure the Webb project doesn't break its latest promise: a 2014 launch on a $5 billion budget. "We like the concept of the Webb, but I tell you, we're not in the overrun business," said Mikulski, who chairs the Senate subcommittee with oversight of NASA's budget."

Did Kepler Astronomer Realy Jump The Gun?, Ray Villard, Discovery News

"Science reporters were primed for this "shoot-ready-aim" response because they are growing impatient with one of NASA's most exciting and inspiring space observatory missions."

Keith's note: Gee Ray, I suppose you have data to back up this wacky claim. Could it be that the media reacted to what Sasselov actually said?

"The semantics over "Earth-like" and "Earth-sized" got confused in stories. Let's set the record straight. Kepler will never find an Earth-like planet. All Kepler is seeing is the shadows of planets as they pass in front of their star (transits). .... Once on the Internet, Sasselov's lecture was translated by reporters. Important ideas got misinterpreted in the translation. This was due in part to the fact that no press conference or substantive press release accompanied the June publication of some of the data."

Keith's note: These are after the fact attempts at spinning things on your part, Ray. Sasselov said "Earth-like". Its on his charts as well. So if these worlds are not "Earth-like" then it is the fault of the media and the general public for not knowing that "Earth-like" does not really mean "Earth-like"? If so, then why did Sasselov say "Earth-like" in the first place? As for your suggestion that media "translated" his comments (anyone can watch the video by the way) - they didn't translate them at all. Sasselov used the words "Earth-like" - and so did the media.

At no point in this article (or at the link to his other articles) does Ray Villard bother to mention that he works at the Space Telescope Science Institute as News Chief ( STSCI operates NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and funds for Villard's salary come from ... NASA.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronomy category from August 2010.

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