Keith's 6:08 pm EDT note: Surprise surprise, NASA just issued this press release at 6:08 pm EDT "NASA Releases Kepler Data On Potential Extrasolar Planets" even though the papers have been accessible for almost 24 hours, and their release was announced 11 days ago. Yet another example of Ed Weiler and SMD's lack of interest in being "open" and "transparent".
Also, it would seem that Jon Morse, the head of the Astrophysics Division at NASA HQ SMD is ordering his staff and scientists associated with this (and other) projects not to talk about any possible extrasolar planet candidates with the media or anyone else until papers have been peer reviewed. That's fine Jon, but then why do you allow the release the papers for public examination - online - if you are so concerned about unreviewed data getting out into the wild? It just doesn't make any sense. You can't have it both ways, Jon.
There is another location where the papers that Jon Morse would rather that you not see are located. All you have to do is go to the The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System and do a simple search for "Kepler" and these papers also show up here.
- Kepler Eclipsing Binary Stars. I. Catalog and Principal Characterization of 1832 Eclipsing Binaries in the First Data Release, SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
- Characteristics of Kepler Planetary Candidates Based on the First Data Set: The Majority are Found to be Neptune-Size and Smaller, SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
- Five Kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates, SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Keith's 5:30 pm EDT note: As best I understand the situation, Ed Weiler and SMD management have consistently refused to allow any NASA publicity surrounding the submission of these Kepler papers - even though anyone can read them via the links below. It is not so much PAO's fault (although there are a few PAO people who should have seen this coming) but rather SMD's clinging to outmoded ways of releasing information.
Then again the Kepler folks posted this update on 4 June that announced this data release. 11 days and they can't agree on a press release?
How SMD can expect people to ignore papers that announce preliminary findings about a large number of newly-identified planets circling other stars simply baffles me. If SMD does not want people to read their papers before they are reviewed, etc. then they should not be posting them on a publicly accessible abstract website for all the world to see.
Keith's 3:00 pm EDT note: Curiously there is no mention whatsoever of this data release at NASA ARC's homepage or on NASA.gov's Kepler mission home page. Its not as if they did not have advanced notice that this data was being released. These papers were posted on astro-ph last night around midnight. Maybe PAO doesn't know that they are online.
- Five Kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates, astro-ph
- Characteristics of Kepler Planetary Candidates Based on the First Data Set: The Majority are Found to be Neptune-Size and Smaller, astro-ph
- Kepler Eclipsing Binary Stars. I. Catalog and Principal Characterization of 1832 Eclipsing Binaries in the First Data Release, astro-ph
Kepler Withholds Data While NASA Struggles To Be Relevant, related post