Astronomer to Discuss Search for Life on Other Planets

January 30, 2014, 10:45 AM HST (Updated January 30, 2014, 12:49 PM)

An astronomer from W. M. Keck Observatory will speak next month on the search for rocky and Earth-like planets in the circumstellar disks that surround newly formed stars that might contain life-giving componds.

Greg Doppmann will discuss his specialty, the techniques and instruments used to search these planet-forming environments for water and organic molecules.

Using such instruments as Keck’s NIRSPEC, a high-resolution infrared spectrograph on the Keck II telescope, Doppman will demonstrate how scientists test for the conditions that are favorable to the development of life on planets outside of our solar system.

The talk comes amidst the backdrop of recent revelations from the search for exoplanets reported here and here involving the Kepler Space Telescope and earth-bound instruments including the Keck Observatory.

 The talk will be held Tuesday, Feb. 11, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea.

Free and open to the public, the lecture is sponsored by Rob and Terry Ryan and the Keck Observatory’s Rising Stars Fund.



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