Why is NASA Bringing in Lucasfilm Movie Effects Master John Knoll for a Press Conference Tomorrow?

Maybe to get people like me to write about it. In that case, mission accomplished.

NASA to Announce Kepler Discovery at Media Briefing

 Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 11 a.m. PDT, Sept. 15

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission. The briefing will be held in the Syvertson auditorium, building N-201, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Although additional observations will be needed over time to achieve that milestone, Kepler is detecting planets and planet candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help us better understand our place in the galaxy.

A representative from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., will join a panel of scientists to discuss the discovery. The briefing participants are:

--Charlie Sobeck, Kepler project deputy manager, NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

--Nick Gautier, Kepler project scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

--Laurance Doyle, lead author, SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.

--John Knoll, visual effects supervisor, ILM, San Francisco.

--Greg Laughlin, professor for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, Calif.

John Knoll is one of the most legendary special effects creators in Hollywood. His work through Industrial Light & Magic is pretty much everywhere. He and his brother Thomas invented Photoshop, fercryinoutlod. I don't know what the presser is about, but having Knoll there is one of the most intriguing moves NASA PR has made in a few years.