Panel on Kepler Mission Search for Other Earths
June 30, 2011 @ 12:00 am EDT
You are invited to a free public seminar:
Are We Alone?: Results about Planets Elsewhere from the Kepler Mission
Place: Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
For directions to the Hall, see: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/visit/info
Free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first served.
Once humanity realized that every star is a Sun like our own, we naturally wondered whether these other stars also have planets. And could those planets be earth-like enough to be homes to more or less intelligent beings like ourselves? Astronomers have only known about planets elsewhere for the last 15 years and finding other Earths is a challenge we are only now able to address. Today, NASA 's Kepler mission is discovering thousands of planets orbiting other stars and for the first time finding strong hints that other Earths (and not just other Jupiters and Saturns) really exist. This non-technical seminar features a panel of key investigators from the NASA Kepler Mission Science Team, who will share the latest mission discoveries, hints about what we might learn in the coming year, and their insights into the age-old question "Are we alone?"
• Bill Borucki, Principal Investigator, NASA Kepler Mission, Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA
• Natalie Batalha, Co-Investigator and Deputy Science Team Lead for the NASA Kepler Mission, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at San Jose State University, and lead author for the discovery of the first nearly Earth-size rocky planet.
• Gibor Basri, Co-Investigator for NASA Kepler Mission and professor in the Department of Astronomy at University of California, Berkeley
• Moderator: Andrew Fraknoi, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Chair of Astronomy Department at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA
“Astronomers have cracked the Milky Way like a piñata, and planets are now pouring out so fast that they do not know what to do with them all.” - Dennis Overbye, New York Times, Feb. 2, 2011