Mike Brown on Planet Images

Mike Brown (planet hunter extraordinaire) has a really interesting and thoughtful post on his blog about his reaction to the announcement that planets around other stars had been imaged. He details the process that he goes through when reading a paper and then preparing to speak to the press about it. Here’s the excellent quote that he gave to a reporter asking about the discovery:

I can’t say the pictures are surprising. We have known for a long time that these planets are out there and that someone someday would take pictures of them. But that doesn’t take away from the exciting fact that we are seeing planets around other stars for the first time. When you start to sail across the ocean you know that you are finally going to reach shore, but, still, when you see land for the first time it is the most beautiful and exciting thing in your universe. “Land ho!” is never said in a quiet voice.

Explore posts in the same categories: exoplanets, Not Mars, Skepticism

3 Comments on “Mike Brown on Planet Images”

  1. Interesting, comparing this post with the previous one: you’ve neatly captured the extremes to avoid in communicating science to the rest of us.

    Gratifying, too, that Nanowrimo hasn’t interfered with the high quality here.

  2. Ryan Says:

    I see Mike Brown’s comment as a good model of how to communicate science, not as an extreme to avoid. In his blog entry he goes into great detail about his process of preparing to speak to the press about the discovery, and then ends with the (in my opinion excellent) quote above. More scientists need to be able to deliver quotes like that one.

  3. Oh, I agree – I meant the curmudgeonly initial reaction that he realised he should avoid!

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