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December 11, 2011

NASA planet discovery to 'generate publicity'

The article talks about recently discovered planet Kepler 22-b that is a potential candidate for life, since it is located in the habitable zone and is similar in size to Earth. However, some astronomers are skeptical about this discovery. A leading astronomer from Northern Ireland, Don Pollacco, from Queen's University, said that NASA has already discovered more than 1000 planets that potentially can have life on them, and that the real reason that NASA is making a big deal out of it is to "generate publicity" for its space programme, and to get more funding.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-16046733

Posted by jeyhun at December 11, 2011 05:04 PM


Actually, that will be a good idea to get more funding.
This is not favorable to astronomers, but NASA needs funding to keep researching. It will bring an interesting argument, I think.

Posted by: buruken at December 11, 2011 09:14 PM

This is definitely a hot spot to look for life in the future. NASA should study more about this discovery. Also, This is directly related to chapter 11 in the text book

Posted by: aguneet at December 11, 2011 10:03 PM

Especially after our last few lectures, we learned that it is not unusual to discover planets that have the potential for life. The article pointed that out too but I think NASA's motives are smart. If you look at the bigger picture, the economy is still pretty bleak. Luckily, as an article in the washington post points out, NASA and the National Science Foundation lucked out of getting their budgets cut but technically they won't be safe forever.

Generating a lot of publicity and interest "gets the people going", so if the public is captivated and interested they are more likely to support NASA's efforts if they are threatened in the future.

Here's the washington post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nasa-and-national-science-foundation-are-spared-from-big-budget-cuts/2011/11/16/gIQAz7FwhN_story.html)

Posted by: fadmonic at December 12, 2011 12:01 AM

I actually agree with the article saying that NASA is doing this strictly for publicity and this is a good business decision so that they can continue being funded. However, people should have the right to know what findings actually are a big deal and what are just "publicity stunts". There are lots of people who might read what NASA released and get very excited about probably nothing.

Posted by: asteier at December 12, 2011 06:15 PM

It's interesting that this is the first planet that NASA did make a big deal out of, even though they have discovered more than 1000 other planets. I do think it is a good idea to get more funding because the more people that are aware of what they are trying to do, the more they will benefit.

Posted by: mrkapila at December 12, 2011 08:09 PM

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