The European Southern Observatory (ESO) will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) Monday to "report significant new results in the field
of exoplanets," ESO officials said in a media alert.
The results were obtained with the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher instrument, better known as HARPS, officials said. HARPS is a
spectrograph on ESO's 11.8-foot (3.6-meter) telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Participating in the press conference will be:
Francesco Pepe, Geneva Observatory, Switzerland
Lisa Kaltenegger, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany
Markus Kissler-Patig or Joe Liske, ESO
Kissler-Patig or Liske will discuss the future of exoplanet research with ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope, ESO officials said. This
instrument will be the world's largest telescope, boasting a 129-foot (39.3-meter) main mirror. It will be built on Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain,
and could begin operations by early in the next decade.
ESO didn't give any further details about what Pepe and Kaltenegger will discuss. Both scientists are actively involved in the search for potentially
habitable alien planets — those on which liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it, could exist.
According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, astronomers have discovered 564 confirmed alien planets to date, with more than 1,000 more candidate
worlds suggested by data from the Kepler space observatory.
(visit the link for the full news article)