Astronomy

ASTRONOMY TALK: Exploring Planets Orbiting Nearby Stars

May 5, 2019, 11:30 AM HST
* Updated April 25, 3:48 PM
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Keck Observatory is hosting an Astronomy Talk that is free and open to the public entitled, “Exploring Planets Orbiting Nearby Stars” on Monday, May 13, 2019, at Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy beginning at 7 p.m.

Assistant Professor of Astronomy at University of California, Berkley, Courtney Dressing will host the talk.

Exploring planets orbiting nearby stars will be the next subject of the Astronomy Talk series.

The NASA Kepler mission revealed that our Galaxy is teeming with planetary systems and that Earth-sized planets are common, but most of the planets Kepler detected orbit stars that are too faint to permit detailed study.

Excitingly, the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched in April 2018 and is expected to find hundreds of small planets orbiting stars that are much closer and brighter. Unlike the Kepler planets, the TESS planets are ideal targets for follow-up observations to determine their masses, compositions, and atmospheric properties.

Dressing will describe the TESS mission and explain how her group is using Keck Observatory to conduct in-depth analysis of the TESS planets to probe the compositional diversity of small planets, investigate the formation of planetary systems, and set the stage for the next phase of exoplanet exploration: the quest for biosignatures in the atmospheres of strange new worlds.

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For more information, contact Shelly Pelfrey at [email protected].

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Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy is located at 65-1692 Kohala Mountain Road in Kamuela.

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