Friday, April 27, 2007

New "habitable" planet

Some astronomers know how to write press releases. Some don't. The European team that announced they had found a small rocky planet knows how to write a press release.

For years the salvation of the transit method of planet discovery (as opposed to the doppler method) was that it could provide the essential information that radial velocity could not: namely, the actual mass of the planet and the radius (essential components for determining if a planet is 5 Earth-masses, small and rocky, or 5 Earth-masses, and big and gassy.)

I know see that we were wasting our time with the transit method, and we should have just stuck with the doppler method and released a press release that says "Habitable planet found!!!1!!" That would have saved some time.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Hey Ben! You should write a "layman's terms" abstract of your research for us on your blog. I'd love to read about it.