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March 28, 2000

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-5026 or 604-9000)

E-mail: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov


Donald Savage

NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-1547)


Robert Sanders

University of California, Berkeley, CA

(Phone: 510/643-6998)


Andrew Perala

W.H. Keck Observatory, Kamuela, HI

(Phone: 808/885-7887)


RELEASE: 00-23AR

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media are invited to attend a live televised briefing about a breakthrough in detecting planets outside of the Solar System on Wednesday, March 29 at 10:00 a.m. PST. The NASA TV briefing will be shown in the Main Auditorium, Bldg. N-201, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Bay Area reporters attending the briefing will be able to question panelists located at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101. At the Moffett Federal Airfield main gate, proceed to the Visitor Badging Office to obtain entry badges and maps to the briefing location. Bring press credentials and photo ID to gain admittance.

ASTRONOMERS TO UNVEIL SIGNIFICANT ADVANCE IN PLANET HUNTING

A renowned team of planet-hunting astronomers, Geoffrey Marcy and Paul Butler, will announce a breakthrough in detecting planets outside our Solar System at the next Space Science Update, a televised program scheduled for tomorrow, March 29, 2000, at 10:00 a.m. PST.

The program will be broadcast from NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, and will be carried live on NASA TV with two-way question-and-answer capability for reporters covering the event from participating NASA centers across the nation including NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

Bay Area reporters can question Marcy, who is from the University of California, Berkeley, CA, during the satellite TV program to be shown live at the NASA Ames Main Auditorium. Marcy and Butler are members of a panel of experts who will take part in a televised discussion.

Panelists will be:

* Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, professor of astronomy, University of California, Berkeley;

* Dr. Paul Butler, staff scientist, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM);

* Dr. Alan P. Boss, staff member, Carnegie Institution of Washington, DTM;

* Dr. Heidi B. Hammel, senior research scientist, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO; and Dr. Anne Kinney, science program director, Astronomical Search for Origins program, NASA Headquarters, panel moderator.

The NASA and National Science Foundation-sponsored research was conducted at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

NASA Television is broadcast on the GE2 satellite which is located on Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880.0 MHz, audio 6.8 MHz. Audio of the broadcast will be available on voice circuit at the Kennedy Space Center on 407/867-1220.

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