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NASA TO MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY REGARDING KEPLER DISCOVERY: Have We Found An Earth-Like Planet? RELEASE : 11-68AR NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery at Media Briefing Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 11 a.m. PDT, Sept. 15 MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- 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 www.nasa.gov... 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. Reporters can attend in person or dial-in for the briefing. To register or to obtain dial-in information, contact Michele Johnson at 650-604-4789 or email@example.com by 4:30 p.m. PDT, Wednesday, Sept. 14. To reach Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east toward the main gate. News media representatives must obtain a badge at the Visitor Badge Office, located at the main gate.
We report the detection of a planet whose orbit surrounds a pair of low-mass stars. Data from the Kepler spacecraft reveal transits of the planet across both stars, in addition to the mutual eclipses of the stars, giving precise constraints on the absolute dimensions of all three bodies. The planet is comparable to Saturn in mass and size and is on a nearly circular 229-day orbit around its two parent stars. The eclipsing stars are 20 and 69% as massive as the Sun and have an eccentric 41-day orbit. The motions of all three bodies are confined to within 0.5° of a single plane, suggesting that the planet formed within a circumbinary disk.