San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
HOT ON THE TRAIL OF WARM PLANETS ORBITING COOL STARS
Please join us for a discussion with the 2013 Seyfert Lecturer Professor John Asher Johnson on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 6 PM. Weather dependant. Reservations are limited. Each person attending must have their own reservation.
Professor Johnson will talk about how just three years ago the prospect of finding temperate, rocky worlds around other stars was still the subject of science fiction: none had been found and reasonable estimates put us years away from such a momentous discovery. All of that changed on the heels of the extraordinarily successful NASA Kepler mission. By searching for the tiny diminutions of starlight indicative of an eclipsing planet, Kepler has produced thousands of new planet candidates orbiting distant stars. Even more remarkable, many of these planets are orbiting "right next door," around tiny red dwarf stars. Professor Johnson will describe the multi-telescope campaign to study these tiny planetary systems, and present early, exciting results that point the way to the detection of the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a star.
Professor Johnson hails from St. Louis, MO, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics at The University of Missouri at Rolla. He continued his studies at the University of California at Berkeley, earning Master's and PhD degrees in Astrophysics. His dissertation, completed in 2007, was entitled "Planet Hunting in New Stellar Domains" and helped to fundamentally push our understanding of planetary environments around some of the hottest and coolest stars known to host planets.