NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discovery


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NASA will host a news teleconference at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

The journal Science has embargoed the findings until the time of the news conference.

The briefing participants are:

-- Douglas Hudgins, exoplanet exploration program scientist, NASA's Astrophysics Division in Washington

-- Elisa Quintana, research scientist, SETI Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

-- Tom Barclay, research scientist, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at Ames

-- Victoria Meadows, professor of astronomy at the University of Washington, Seattle, and principal investigator for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, a team in the NASA Astrobiology Institute at Ames 

Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone -- the range of distance from a star in which the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might sustain liquid water. The telescope has since detected planets and planet candidates spanning a wide range of sizes and orbital distances, including those in the habitable zone. These findings have led to a better understanding of our place in the galaxy.

For dial-in information, media should e-mail their name, affiliation and telephone number to J.D. Harrington at j.d.harrington@nasa.gov no later than 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT)  Thursday.

The public is invited to listen to the teleconference live on UStream at:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-arc

and

http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2

Audio of the teleconference also will be streamed live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

Questions can be submitted on Twitter using the hashtag #AskNASA.

A link to relevant graphics will be posted at the start of the teleconference on NASA's Kepler site:

http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

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