Over 1,200 Possible Planets Found…Taxpayers Money At Work

Treasure trove in space.  Might I add this is the taxpayer’s money at work…..work that would be threatened if conservatives have their way and slash federal spending.

NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope detected 1,235 possible extra-solar planets during its first four months of operation, astronomers announced Wednesday, including 68 approximately Earth-size worlds. Five of those are orbiting in the parent star’s habitable “Goldilocks” zone where liquid water could exist in environments favorable for life.

The planetary “candidates” must be confirmed by additional observations and analysis and it will take another two years to collect enough data to determine how common Earth-like worlds might be. But based on the initial results, “Kepler’s blown the lid off everything we know about extra-solar planets,” said Debra Fischer, an astronomer at Yale University.

Launched from Cape Canaveral on March 6, 2009, Kepler’s 95-megapixel camera is aimed at a patch of sky in the constellation Cygnus that’s the size of an out-stretched hand, a 10-degree-wide target zone that contains more than 4.5 million detectable stars.

Of that total, some 300,000 are believed to be the right age, have the right composition and the proper brightness to host Earth-like planets. More than 156,000 of those, ranging from 600 to 3,000 light years away, will be actively monitored by Kepler over the life of the mission.

Should Sen. Scott Brown Release More Nude Pictures?

Remember when conservatives were breathless over Scott Brown after he won Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts?   I wondered then if the nude pics of Brown were the reason for the flashes of warmth so many GOP’ers felt toward the new ‘face’. 

Well it seems that the bloom is off the rose.  And for the craziest of reasons.

Maybe Scott Brown needs to do a layout for Playgirl to get the conservatives back in line.

A Republican organization that backed Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) with independent expenditures and fundraising assistance says it will work to defeat Brown in a Republican primary next year in order to protect the party’s brand.

Scott Wheeler, who heads the National Republican Trust PAC, said the group never expected Brown to toe a consistently conservative line, given his home state. But Brown’s vote for the New START Treaty with Russia in late 2010 was a bridge too far, Wheeler said.