Category Archives: Space Science

A New Earth?

I’ve been told by someone at NSF that there may be an announcement today of an extrasolar “earth-like” planet (in terms of mass) at 1 PM. We’ll keep an eye out.

[Update at 11:30 AM EDT]

Here’s a link to a webcast on it, coming up in an hour and a half. The person who notified me of this writes:

“I believe, based on the level of media they’re expecting that it will be an earth-size and mass planet outside of the solar system.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

[Update at 2 PM]

OK, it’s “more earth like than anything previously found,” but still not that earth like. It masses several times as much as the earth, at a distance of only a couple million miles from its star, with a year of only two earth days. Sounds more like a large “Mercury-like” planet.


Alan Boyle has the story.

Cassini has been delivering spectacular results, and we can continue to look forward to much more (barring technical disaster, or a collision with a ring particle). I remember when I was in college, and we were just starting to anticipate the pictures that would be coming in from Voyager in a few years. Today, I suspect that most young people take this kind of imagery for granted. It’s just part of the background tapestry of twenty-first century life, like powerful desktop computers, iPods, and affordable air fares.

A Bust

That’s what the eclipse is in Boca Raton. Just as it was starting to really happen, it shyly hid behind a thick cloud, and has yet to emerge.

[Thursday morning update]

It wasn’t a total bust. We got some breaks in the clouds during totality. Our biggest problem was staying up late enough. We gave it up about 11:30, while it was still fully in the umbra. It was a beautiful for a while, though.