Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Le Figaro breaks embargo on study finding three habitable planets orbiting nearby star

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esologoThe European Southern Observatory (ESO) lifted the embargo early today on a study following a break by Le Figaro.

Here’s the top of the email that went out at 8:43 a.m. this morning:

** EMBARGO LIFTED: This item was originally embargoed until Wednesday, 26 June 2013, at 12:00 CEST, or 6:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern time. Due to an embargo break in France last night, ESO lifted the embargo this morning (25 June). {RTF} **

25 June 2013

** Contacts are listed below. **

Text, images, and video:


A team of astronomers has combined new observations of Gliese 667C with existing data from HARPS at ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope in Chile, to reveal a system with at least six planets. A record-breaking three of these planets are super-Earths lying in the zone around the star where liquid water could exist, making them possible candidates for the presence of life. This is the first system found with a fully packed habitable zone.

ESO public information officer Richard Hook said the break by the reporter was “very irritating,” but inadvertent:

Seems to have been an honest mistake without malicious intent. He just got the day wrong. I contacted him and explained and he apologised profusely.


Written by Ivan Oransky

June 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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