Kepler the focus at the American Astronomical Society conference

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Kepler the focus at the American Astronomical Society conference

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1richardbsmith
gen. 9, 2010, 3:09pm

I keep waiting for more detail on the Atronomical Conference. Here is a report in Scientific American.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=a-galaxy-of-new-worlds-dispat...

An interesting perspective was posted in one of the comments. Here is the last paragraph of the second comment.

"The search for complex life may be likened to a search for a needle of specific sharpness in a stack of needles. Such a huge investment of precious astronomical resources for so little benefit! The present efforts cannot even claim to be collecting useful inventory data. Endeavors such as these may disqualify humanity as intelligent life on Earth but, as long as we're having fun"

2misericordia
gen. 12, 2010, 12:35pm

I think the commenter's phrases "precious astronomical resources" and "little benefit" are his personal opinions, (which he has every right to have). I take it he isn't against astronomical research as much as the search for life. I wonder what he would prefer the "precious astronomical resources" be focused on?

Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Planetary Nebula formation, Stellar Evolution, NEO, etc...

3richardbsmith
gen. 12, 2010, 2:33pm

I also take it that he thinks other research would be more productive.

4misericordia
gen. 12, 2010, 6:33pm

Yeah I am just not clear on what other research would be more productive. I heard some discussion on what the next steps after discovering earth size planet around and distant star would be. Which included several methods for determining the composition of the atmosphere. Which would be very interesting no matter what the results.

5richardbsmith
gen. 12, 2010, 6:48pm

I have not seen anything more on the "hot companions" you mentioned earlier.

6misericordia
gen. 13, 2010, 6:40pm

And now they have observed the atmosphere of a distant planet...
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/direct-spectrum-exoplanet/

7richardbsmith
Editat: gen. 13, 2010, 8:35pm

Cool.

It seems to me that these techniques are in the early development and experimentation stages -only to improve. And we are not long from James Webb. It seems a shame that Hubble and James Webb cannot both be supported. I also do not understand why they cancelled the last support mission to Hubble, before getting its replacement up and running.

ETA had written Jack Webb - with Dragnet on the brain. :)