Has NASA discovered aliens? Again?

i-536b557b10f0df6a73917844e1a08e82-ET_photo_from_wikipedia-thumb-300x217-69128.jpgProbably not, but they are cagily announcing a rather unusual press conference that has a certain familiar ring to it.

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

The Kepler mission is focused on finding Earth-size planets in the Goldilocks Zone, where, say, alien life could live. But of course it wouldn’t be alien to themselves, you understand.

Interesting and potentially strange but it gets stranger:

A representative from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., will join a panel of scientists to discuss the discovery.

Which can only mean one thing, right?

Source

Comments

  1. #1 Drivebyposter
    September 13, 2011

    Which can only mean one thing, right?

    That George Lucas is going to “digitally enhance” the Earth?

  2. #2 Ashley Moore
    September 14, 2011

    Q: Has NASA discovered alien life?
    George Lucas: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  3. #3 StevoR
    September 14, 2011

    Hmm .. there’s a bit of a track record of NASA hyping up press conferences with an air of mystery and then letting us down – the arsenic lifeforms paper being the most recent / memorable exmple. I hope this doesn’t up as another anti-climax.

  4. #4 Eric Lund
    September 14, 2011

    What Stevo @3 said. They are announcing a GlamourPub (the press release mentions a “Science Journal” embargo, and it is the usual time of the week for announcing a publication in Science). It might be something truly interesting, or it might be something that makes a big immediate splash and then fades in less than a year. The arsenic lifeforms paper was in the latter category.

  5. #5 StevoR
    September 14, 2011

    For those who may have forgotton or want more info – check out :

    http://www.slate.com/id/2295724/

    &

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/11/30/snowballing-speculation-over-a-nasa-press-conference/

    (Before press conference.)

    &

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/12/02/nasas-real-news-bacterium-on-earth-that-lives-off-arsenic/

    (After press conference – for comparison purposes – science blogging community as anthropological study? ;-) )

    (Hope its okay to post these links for another blog -okay netiquette~wise? Apologies & please let me know if not.)

    BTW. Thought I saw something on facebook just now~ish about a NASA press conference for 10 am today on the future of manned Space Exploration? Could be mistaken or confused o’course. Watch this space?

  6. #6 daedalus2u
    September 14, 2011

    I think it will be about findings but also about funding. Kepler is costing $17 million a year to keep it running.

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/126242378.html

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110906/full/477142a.html

    I think the tea partiers in congress want to cut it. Why? Because they can, and because it will piss off those liberal intellectuals who care about science.

    I suspect the representative from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) will be there to discuss private funding to keep it operational.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    September 14, 2011

    Stevo, yeah, I did actually link to my blog post on that earlier announcement.

    To be fair, at least in my opinion, NASA did not actually do what most bloggers screamed at them for doing. And, I should mention that when I said that back then, some of those bloggers turned on me like hyenas on a bleeding impala. It was a fairly embarrassing moment for the science blogsophere, not just for NASA. But we only remember the arsenic.

  8. #8 StevoR
    September 15, 2011

    @ ^ Greg Laden : Fair enough then. I must’ve missed seeing that there, sorry.

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