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Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Comment Re:Get him fired. (Score 1) 811

This whole "should an IT manager have IT skills" thing has been on Slashdot plunty of times before. There's always the people that say if you dont' know what you're managing then how can you manage it? then there's always the people that all it takes to be a good manager is management skills, whatever set that may include.

If you ask me, it depends on what you expect out of the manager. Or really more importantly, it depends on what that manager's style of management is. A manager with no technical skills can manage IT great, if they are willing to regonize that they don't have IT skills and therefore place that much more level of trust in the suggestions and evaluations of the members of thier team that do. If you have a manager that wants to micromanage the technical detials and yet does NOT have the technical knowledge, I mean, of course, you're going to have a problem!

Likewise, as I was saying, if the manager has good management skills. If they listen to and place faith on what thier tech people tell them, then they're still going to be a good manager even if they don't nesscarly know the difference between stack and heap memory.

Of course, you might say its not possible for someone to have good management skills, and still want to micromanage the technology of something they don't understand. Well.. lets just say I don't know about that.

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"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer