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Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler Mission released its first official findings today at press event. These are the first fully confirmed exoplanet discoveries by the mission, and there will be many more confirmations coming down the pipe no doubt. This system isn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped… on Tuesday I read that NASA was planning a press conference to announce Kepler’s findings so naturally I was hoping they’d found a planet similar to earth, but I seriously doubted the news would be that exciting. I’d say it’ll be at least another year before any earth twins are confirmed, because obviously an earth twin would have an orbital period close to 1 earth year, and multiple transits would be needed to confirm it as a planet.

The system discovered is the first multi-planet system confirmed using the transit method (measuring the dip in light seen from a star as a planet crosses between us and the star). It has two Saturn-sized planets and possibly one “super earth,” a planet roughly 1.5 times the size of earth. This smaller planet has not been confirmed, however, so it’s still just an “exoplanet candidate.” Furthermore, they say the smaller planet is VERY close to the star, completing an orbit in only a matter of days. This means the planet would be scorchingly hot and quite unsuitable for any kind of life. While not the “holy grail” of planet-hunting, these findings confirm that the techniques and devices being used to hunt for exoplanets are indeed working, and that we’re well on our way toward finding that illusive earth-twin. (Via NASA)

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Before you do anything else, watch this amazing time lapse video from a star party in Texas. It was taken over a whole night and shows the Milky Way rising. Nerd-gasm! Sorry, I still haven’t found a way to embed Vimeo videos on WordPress.

Now that you’ve gotten your fill of star-porn, some great news from the U.K…. Blur may be hitting the U.S. on some dates in and around their string of U.K. festivals. Yes, please. Though the chances of them actually coming to Nashville are pretty small, I’d go to Atlanta to see them easily.

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

The Atlantis astronauts took an IMAX 3D camera with them on their mission to service Hubble, and the footage will be turned into an IMAX movie set for release next spring. I can’t effin’ wait to see it. Wow, this is turning into a really geeky post… sorry.

I tweeted earlier today about the iPhone coming to Verizon, which would make me jump for joy. Unfortunately further research has revealed it’s still just in the negotiation phase, and nothing’s confirmed. But from what I can tell from this article on USA Today, the prospect is looking fairly good. I refuse to switch to AT&T because their service coverage SUCKS. I’ve been in many buildings (including my own) where AT&T users can’t even get a signal, and I cannot recall ONE SINGLE TIME that I’ve experience coverage issues with Verizon. About a year or two ago there was some bizarre hiccup with their Nashville service, but that lasted only a few hours and wasn’t a coverage issue. If Verizon gets most of their network upgraded to the 4th generation (4G) LTE system by next year, I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t go for the deal since their 5-year contract with AT&T will be up. I’ve already been pissed at AT&T for even having exclusivity with the iPhone in the first place, and if they manage to sucker Apple into extending it, they can kiss my sweet ass.

Some bizarre links for your enjoyment today:

Oddee spotlights 8 strange subcultures.

io9 has a clip from 2000’s What Planet Are You From? in which Ben Kingsley’s character teaches his race of alien men how to achieve penis insertion with human females. It’s not as NSFW as it sounds, trust me.

Tonight I can be found at Foobar checking out Totally DJs, a new Wednesday night DJ gig started by my friend Spice-J. He’s already had some pretty awesome guests, including Pimpdaddy Supreme and Makeup & Vanity Set. I should be making an appearance there in the next few weeks as DJ Burgers. I’ll keep you posted.

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