WASHINGTON — NASA will host a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Feb. 2, to announce the Kepler mission’s latest findings about planets outside our solar system. The briefing will be held in the NASA Headquarters auditorium at 300 E St S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the “habitable zone,” the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be needed over time to achieve that milestone, Kepler is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.
The news conference will follow the scheduled release of Kepler mission science data on Feb. 1. The data release will update the number of planet candidates and is based on observations conducted between May 2 and Sept. 17, 2009.
– Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
– William Borucki, Kepler Science principal investigator, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
– Jack Lissauer, Kepler co-investigator and planetary scientist, Ames
– Debra Fischer, professor of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
Reporters also may ask questions from participating NASA field centers or by phone. To obtain dial-in information, journalists must send their name, affiliation and telephone number to Steve Cole by e-mail at email@example.com by noon EST on Feb. 1.
For more information about the Kepler mission and to view the Feb. 1 data release, visit:
Since its launch in March, 2009, the Kepler Mission has announced the discovery of 9 confirmed exoplanets (or planets outside our solar system). This video explores how the team works to combine photometry from the spacecraft, data from ground-based observatories and precise asteroseismic analysis to determine if Earths are common or rare in our Galaxy.