Night Talk: Exoplanets and life elsewhere: where do we begin?
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (AEST)
In the coming decade, it is almost certain that the first Earth-like planets will be found orbiting distant stars. At that point, the search for life beyond our solar system will begin in earnest, with scientists building costly space observatories in order to put the most promising planets under close scrutiny. But how will they choose which planets to target? What factors will make one planet more promising than another? Join astronomer Dr Jonti Horner as he explains how astronomers across the globe are searching for exoplanets before discussing the various features of a planet and its host star that researchers think might influence its habitability.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Jonti Horner is an astronomer who currently works in the Department of Astrophysics and Optics, in the University of New South Wales. He arrived in Australia from Oxford university in October 2010 to work in the exoplanet group, spending part of his time looking for planets around other stars! He also carries out theoretical research into the origin and evolution of the small bodies in our Solar system - objects such as comets, asteroids, and meteoroids and is also involved in projects examining the formation of planets around other stars, and looking into the nature of habitability on the Earth and beyond.
Date: 20 August
Time: 6pm, doors open at 5.45pm