Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 9, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page B:3


The World Around Us

 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 9, 2013 


Scientists from University of California, Berkeley, and University of 
Hawaii, Manoa, have statistically determined that twenty percent of 
Sun-like stars in our galaxy have Earth-size planets that could host 
life. The findings, gleaned from data collected from NASA’s Kepler 
spacecraft and the W. M. Keck Observatory, now satisfy Kepler’s 
primary mission: to determine how many of the 100 billion stars 
in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets. The results were 
published November 4 in the journal Proceedings of the National 
Academy of Sciences.

“What this means is, when you look up at the thousands of stars 
in the night sky, the nearest sun-like star with an Earth-size planet 
in its habitable zone is probably only 12 light years away and can 
be seen with the naked eye. That is amazing,” said UC Berkeley 
graduate student Erik Petigura, who led the team analyzing the 
Kepler and Keck Observatory data.

The team, which also included planet hunter Geoffrey Marcy, UC 
Berkeley professor of astronomy, cautioned that Earth-size planets 
in Earth-size orbits are not necessarily hospitable to life, even if 
they orbit in the habitable zone of a star where the temperature is 
not too hot and not too cold.

“Some may have thick atmospheres, making it so hot at the surface 
that DNA-like molecules would not survive. Others may have 
rocky surfaces that could harbor liquid water suitable for living 
organisms,” Marcy said. “We don’t know what range of planet types 
and their environments are suitable for life.”

NASA launched the now crippled Kepler space telescope in 2009 to 
look for planets that cross in front of, or transit, their stars, causing 
a slight diminution—about one hundredth of one percent—in the 
star’s brightness. From among the 150,000 stars photographed 
every 30 minutes for four years, NASA’s Kepler team reported more 
than 3,000 planet candidates. Many of these are much larger than 
Earth—ranging from large planets with thick atmospheres, like 
Neptune, to gas giants like Jupiter—or in orbits so close to their 

stars that they are roasted.

To sort them out, Petigura and his colleagues are using the twin 10-meter telescopes of the Keck 
Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to obtain spectra of as many stars as possible. 
This will help them determine each star’s true brightness and calculate the diameter of each transiting 
planet, with an emphasis on Earth-size worlds.


The team focused on the 42,000 stars that are like the sun or slightly cooler and smaller, and found 
603 candidate planets orbiting them. Only 10 of these were Earth-size, that is, one to two times the 
diameter of Earth and orbiting their star at a distance where they are heated to lukewarm temperatures 
suitable for life. The team’s definition of habitable is that a planet receives between four times and one-
quarter the amount of light that Earth receives from the sun.

“The primary goal of the Kepler mission was to answer the question, When you look up in the night 
sky, what fraction of the stars that you see have Earth-size planets at lukewarm temperatures so that 
water would not be frozen into ice or vaporized into steam, but remain a liquid—because liquid water 
is now understood to be the prerequisite for life,” Marcy said. “Until now, no one knew exactly how 
common potentially habitable planets were around Sun-like stars in the galaxy.”

You can contact Bob Eklund at: 

Credit: Petigura/UC Berkeley, Howard/UH-Manoa, Marcy/UC Berkeley




If you have a Facebook page for your business, it’s important to keep the content 
fresh. If you haven’t posted for over 6 months, people might assume you are 
out of business. Posting 4-5 times a week can seem like a time consuming task.

The best way to keep up with content creation on Facebook is to schedule your 

Think of your Facebook page as a weekly magazine for your business. The people who “Like” your 
page are your publication subscribers. The content that is provided to the subscribers is distributed in 
small amounts over time (one article or photo at a time, not all at once in one contained publication). 

Take a look at your current posts on Facebook. If you were to put all your Facebook posts together, 
would it make an interesting 12-page newsletter with a variety of helpful, informative, shareworthy 
content and images?

Have a plan in place for your content. For example, your weekly Facebook schedule might look like 
this (of course it will depend on the type of business you have): 

• MONDAY: Behind the scenes photo of work in progress
• TUESDAY: Industry news share that your audience would find interesting 
• WEDNESDAY: Show how your product or service is solving a problem
• THURSDAY: #throwbackthursday photo of a historical event in your business
• FRIDAY: Photos of your team doing something interesting
• SATURDAY: Ask an interesting open-ended question
• SUNDAY: Share a fun photo – ask for people to give it a caption

Facebook’s scheduling tool will allow you to schedule your posts. To schedule your posts, look for 
the little clock in the lower left corner of the Facebook publisher. This will allow you to select the year, 
the month, they day and the time.

Facebook’s new insights tool will give you information about the best time of day you should publish 
your post. 

One of the main benefits of scheduling your posts is that you can try out different times of day when 
you are typically not on-line or at work. You might have an audience of Rock Stars that are active at 
2am on a Friday night. You can still reach them while you are sound asleep by scheduling your posts!

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes in 
Internet Marketing strategies and Social Media. They offer social media management services and 
help their clients build a strong on-line presence. “Like” them on Facebook for trending news in 
social media, internet marketing and other helpful tips,

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 

 It's not just the economy - there are lots of reasons that people choose to downsize. It could be retirement, 
a recently emptied nest, or just plain "maintenance fatigue." Whatever the reason, plan your 
new lifestyle carefully.

 When you search for a smaller home, don't forget that Location is still the key ingredient. Even if 
you don't have kids or they've flown the coop, a good school district and proximity to public transportation 
and recreation are still the best bets for retaining value.

I f this will be a retirement move, think about the future and seek out homes on one level, or at the 
very least, with the master bedroom on the ground floor. For practicality's sake, at least one bathroom 
should be handicap-accessible or easily remodeled as such. Even if you don't think you'll need 
it later on, your visitors might appreciate the convenience.

 If downsizing to you means less maintenance, you may be tempted by town home or condominium 
living, but be aware of "hidden costs," like annual or monthly homeowners association fees. Check 
recent association meeting reports to see if there is a building renovation planned, as you could be hit 
with an assessment fee in the future, too.

 There are a lot of considerations in advance of your move, so ask an agent for more advice and enjoy 
your new lifestyle!


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA


With the holiday season at our doorsteps, it’s the 
perfect time to finalize the annual list of gifts that 
you plan to purchase, including year-end gifts 
to a worthy cause or individuals who might be 
encouraged by a generous show of support. Don’t 
underestimate how appreciative someone may 
be to receive a gift of something that is old and 
outdated for you, yet may be welcomed by the 
recipient as their new favorite thing. As long as 
what you’re giving is in good working condition 
and looks presentable, you will be surprised at 
how useful your friend or neighbor may find it to 
receive your old computer desk that you need to 
discard because you’re replacing it or converting 
your office into an exercise room.

Look first to determine things that you already 
possess to give away and bring joy or benefit to 
someone else. Next, think of some talent you 
have or some service you could render to bring 
a smile to someone’s face. Put on your thinking 
cap and get creative with your ideas, then settle 
on at least one thing that you can actually do 
and at least one thing that you can actually 
give to someone. Replacing your older Kindle? 
Certainly one of the other individuals in your life 
who loves to read might welcome it as a brand 
new gadget to master. Other examples of gifts to 
give, some old, some new, include:

• Next time you’re dining at one of your 
favorite restaurants, purchase a gift certificate for 
an amount at least equal to your tab on that visit, 
then give it to someone in your life who’s never 
been there. You can let them know that you 
wanted one of your favorite people to be enjoy a 
meal at one of your favorite restaurants.
• If you’re among the folks who still uses 
elbow grease to was their own cars, surprise 
your neighbor by taking your waterhose and 
washcloth to theirs the next time they jokingly 
say, “Hey, you washing mine next?”
• For those who don’t feel comfortable 
reaching out to give used items or services to 
individuals they know, perhaps a donation to a 
local charitable cause will suffice.

Consider blessing yourself by being a blessing to 
someone less fortunate during this festive season. 
“It’s better to give than it is to receive” is a well-
known saying adopted from Acts 20:35 in the 
Bible. Certainly, anyone who is in a position to 
be able to contribute to someone else’s well-being 
or advancement is in some ways better off than 
those who must rely on others to provide the 
necessities of life.

We can all brace ourselves for the onslaught of 
promotional campaigns and advertisements that 
will consume every available second of airtime 
on broadcast media, and populate bandwidths 
with the transmission of digital data to make it 
easy for shoppers to browse, shop and click to 
complete purchases through countless websites 
and related media. We can also adopt a balanced 
approach to decide on the new items that we wish 
to purchase, as well as some of our old existing 
items that we can purge from our environment to 
become useful to someone else.