Public Lecture

Public Lecture

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2018
Time: 20:30 – 21:30
Location: Civic Auditorium, Pasadena Convention Center

Mapping the Nearest Stars for Habitable Worlds

For thousands of years people have wondered, “Are there planets like Earth?” “Are such planets common?” “Do any have signs of life?” Today astronomers are poised to answer these ancient questions, having recently found thousands of planets that orbit nearby Sun-like stars, called “exoplanets”. Professor Sara Seager will share the latest advances in this revolutionary field.

Professor Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Sara Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has pioneered many research areas in the characterization of exoplanets. Her present research focus is on the search for life by way of exoplanet atmospheric “biosignature” gases. Professor Seager works on space missions for exoplanets including as: the PI of the CubeSat ASTERIA; the Deputy Science Director of the MIT-led NASA Explorer-class mission TESS; and as a lead of the Starshade Rendezvous Mission (a space-based direct imaging exoplanet discovery concept under technology development) to find a true Earth analog orbiting a Sun-like star. Among other accolades, Professor Seager was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2015, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.

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