McDonald Observatory Scientist Details ‘Planets Gone Wild’; Reporters May Participate Remotely in Live Webcast from Miami

May 20, 2010

Event: McDonald Observatory's Barbara McArthur gives a press briefing live from the 216th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Miami on her surprising findings about a nearby solar system obtained with Hubble Space Telescope, The University of Texas at Austin's giant Hobby-Eberly Telescope in West Texas, and other ground-based telescopes. The university will issue a detailed press release and graphics, including animation, simultaneous with the start of the press conference.

McArthur's briefing will be followed by two others containing news on extrasolar planetary systems, then brief remarks from an independent commentator. Reporters on-site and those watching via webcast may ask questions.

When: 1 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 24

Instructions: The site for the press conference webcast is: http://aas.org/press/press_conferences. The password is: aas216.briefing

Once the webcast window opens, press the Play (>) button. The chat window will appear below the video and slides. To ask a question, type it into the space at the bottom of the chat window and click the Send button. Be sure to give your name and media affiliation — the system is not assigning unique usernames and passwords to participants, so chat text is anonymous. The event organizers do not guarantee all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud. This will depend on time constraints and the volume of questions from on-site reporters.

Notes: You must have a high-speed (broadband) Internet connection to watch and listen because the webcast includes audio, video and PowerPoint slides. You must also have Flash installed on your computer to view the webcast. To download a free copy of Flash, visit: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer.

For more information, contact: Rebecca Johnson, McDonald Observatory, College of Natural Sciences, 512 475 6763.