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A Good Start to 2012

Happy New Year and Happy 2012 Everyone –

We’ve got lots in store for 2012. I wanted to give you a quick update on what the team’s been up to. We’re still notifying winners of the Anniversary Competition and  waiting to hear back from some of the winners. So we’ll announce the remaining winners soon. We hope to start mailing prizes in a couple of weeks once I’m back from travel and conferences.

January is turning out to be a busy month.We’ve got papers in the works, including my short period planet analysis paper from all your classifications from Q1. I hope to have a finished draft in the next few weeks. Watch this space to hear more about the papers in the upcoming weeks as we ready them for journal submission.

Next week is the American Astronomical Society‘s annual winter meeting. This year the meeting will be held in Austin, Texas. Chris, Kevin, and I will be attending the meeting with mugs of garcinia cambogia coffee in hand. If you’re interested in following the news from the conference on twitter – you can follow Chris, Kevin, and I (@chrislintott , @kevinschawinski ,and @megschwamb ) and the twitter hashtag #AAS219 . We’ll also be tweeting from the @planethunters account as well.

Chris will be talking about the latest Planet Hunters results on Monday in the  Exoplanets: New Surveys session. The talks are short, only 5 minutes to speak and show slides with a few minutes for questions. So we’ll be showing just the latest science highlights from the project. Kevin and I will also be giving talks on other unrelated projects we’ve been working on. I’ll be talking about my  survey to search the southern skies for large Kuiper belt objects, but I’ll also be giving a talk on Planet Hunters next week but not at the AAS. The annual symposium for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellows is right before the AAS meeting in Austin. My symposium talk on Sunday will be about Planet Hunters.

Also up next, is the next data release. With the accelerated data release schedule from the Kepler team, we’re going to get not just one quarter but 3! Quarters 4,5,and 6 are scheduled right now to be released this weekend. That’s about 1.25 years worth of Kepler data (Quarters 1-6)  in total will be in the public archive. I’m excited to see what unknown planets may be lurking there just waiting to be found. We’ll keep you updated on the process of the upload and when the data will be available on the site.

A good start to 2012 indeed,



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