• Exoplanets, supermassive blackholes and Higgs…Countdown to 12/6/11

    4. Exoplanet detected in the habitable zone!

    Kepler mission recently found an exoplanet, Kepler-22b right in the middle of the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. For some reason, I am unable to access the Kepler mission’s website at this moment, but here is a description.
    I must mention that at present there is not enough information to call it an Earth-like planet, contrary to what several media outlets are reporting.
    Video of the press release can be found here.

    3. SUPERMASSIVE black holes!
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    New observations of two ~10 billion solar masses supermassive black holes have been reported recently. This is a new record beating the previous 6.3 billion solar masses black hole. A popular description can be found here.
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    2. Exoplanets made of diamond
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    Here is a recent report. If this is true, astronomers can now probably get more money from the government to study exoplanets.
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    1. Putting an end to the Higgs rumors (for now)…
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    Recently, the blogosphere has been buzzing with rumors of the announcement of Higgs boson in the forthcoming presentation next week. It is now pretty clear that there isn’t going to be any such announcement. Here is a recent email from CERN’s director, Rolf Heuer:
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    I would like to invite you to a seminar in the main auditorium on 13 December at 14:00, at which the ATLAS and CMS experiments will present the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson. These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the Summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs. The seminar will also be webcast.

    Here is the link: https://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=164890