A NASA press release reports that Industrial Light & Magic's John Knoll will join scientists from NASA, SETI, and UC Santa Cruz to discuss a new discovery that the American space agency will unveil on Thursday.
More information is below:
NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery at Media Briefing
Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 11 a.m. PDT, Sept. 15
NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission. The briefing will be held in the Syvertson auditorium, building N-201, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at
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.
A representative from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., will join a panel of scientists to discuss the discovery. The briefing participants are:
--Charlie Sobeck, Kepler project deputy manager, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. --Nick Gautier, Kepler project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. --Laurance Doyle, lead author, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif. --John Knoll, visual effects supervisor, ILM, San Francisco. --Greg Laughlin, professor for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.
In other space news, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope have discovered a real-world Alderaan of sorts: a planet 880 light-years away that is getting the Death Star treatment from X-ray radiation:
“This planet is being absolutely fried by its star,” study co-author Sebastian Schröter, of the University of Hamburg in Germany, said in a press statement.
All that high-energy radiation is evaporating about five million tons of matter from the planet *each second.*