Events and Conferences

Free Public Lecture: Sara Seager on Exoplanets

October 23, 2012

Dr. Sara Seager, Physics and Planetary Science, MIT, will be speaking at SFU on Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds as part of the Fall 2012 President's Dream Colloquium on the Emergence and Complexity of Life.

Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds
For thousands of years people have wondered, “Are we alone?” Hundreds of exoplanets are known to transit their host stars, that is the planet goes in front of its star as seen from Earth. The transiting planets are “goldmines” for astronomers, because the planetary sizes, masses, and atmospheres can be routinely measured.

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope is further revolutionizing transiting exoplanet studies with its unprecedented photometric precision. Highlights of transiting planet studies, breakthrough Kepler discoveries, and pioneering technology development will fuel the search for life on other worlds.

  • Burnaby campus lecture: Thursday, November 15, 3:30–5 pm, SWH 10081, Saywell Hall, Burnaby campus. Reserve online. (This lecture will be webcast.)
    Campus map and directions available.
  • Vancouver campus lecture: Friday, November 16, 7:30–8:45 pm
    Fletcher Challenge Theatre, HC 1900, Harbour Centre building
    Due to popular demand, we've moved this event to a larger theatre: Cinema 3200, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (former Woodwards building, directions and map available), 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. Reserve online.
    Please arrive at least 15 minutes early as there will likely be a waiting list. Empty seats will be given away to people on the waitlist at 7:20. The check-in desk will be open by 6:30 pm and early birds are welcome — and will get their choice of seats.

    The Vancouver talk is is sponsored by SFU's Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, President's Dream Colloquium, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), founded in 1903. The RASC is dedicated to the advancement of astronomy and allied sciences. Membership in the RASC is open to everyone who is interested in astronomy.

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT. Her science research focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her research has introduced many new ideas to the field of exoplanet characterization, including work that led to the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere.

She has been recognized in the media by Popular Science Magazine’s Fifth Annual
Brilliant Ten in 2006, Discover Magazine’s “Best 20 under 40” in 2008, Nature’s Top
Ten in 2011, and Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.

See also recent interviews with her in Atlantic magazine: Robots, Platinum, and Tiny Space Telescopes: The Pitch for Mining Asteroids and Could We One Day Send Humans to the Newly Discovered Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri B?

Added November 13
Look for Dr. Seager on CBC's The Nature of Things episode on "Planet Hunters," airing on November 15.

Added November 14
Listen for Dr. Seager on CBC Radio's On the Coast show, between 3-6 pm on November 15.

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