The Galileo science team today announced that the spacecraft's
instruments failed to find any new traces of Elvis  Presley during its
flyby of Earth last December 8th.

"It's a tough background subtraction problem," explained Dr. Edward B.
Rock of Caltech.  "We know the planet contains several thousand Elvis
imitators.  You have to distinguish the real thing from many objects
of similar apperance."

The method used involved interdisciplinary comparison from several of
Galileo's sensors.  "For example, an Elvis imitator would have a very
similar appearance to Elvis in the SSI [Solid State Imaging] and NIMS
[Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer] data," said Dr. Graham Finale.
"But no imitator has Elvis's magnetism."  Researchers combined data
from Galileo's sensitive magnetometer, mounted on a 36-foot (11 meter)
boom, with optical, infrared, and ultraviolet measurements.  They are
capable of identifying a single genuine Elvis among all the other
features of Earth's landscape.  This is a very sensitive technique-- a
feat equivalent to standing in St. Joseph, Missouri, and
distinguishing a jellybean in a bowl of amphetamines in Memphis.

Galileo investigators were cautious about ruling out the possible
existence of Elvis.  "We can only set an upper limit," said Dr. Rock.
"And we're guessing to some extent at the profile we're looking for.
If Elvis has lost weight, for instance, he'd have a different infrared
signature."  According to the science team, there are 0.21 plus or
minus 0.17 Elvises on Earth, a number described as "consistent with

Though speculation has been published in some journals that evidence
for Elvis might exist on other planets and moons in our solar system,
most scientists agree that Earth is the most likely place to find him.
"If, as the new results suggest, there's no Elvis on Earth," said Dr.
Torrance California, "this lends weight to the supposition that he
really is dead."

Back to the archive...

This message was sent on 21 Mar 1996