A Prof & a Pint: Exotic Solar Systems on the Path to Earth-Like Planets

Other Worlds Laboratory, Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Please join us for A Prof and A Pint, a monthly series of informal discussions, served over dinner and drinks, at Forager Tasting Room and Eatery. Brought to you by the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association, and helping to celebrate 2018 as the Year of Alumni, each talk will engage a UCSC faculty member or grad student in discussion with you, the local community of Silicon Valley. Talks are held on the 2nd Monday of each month. Topics include everything from organic Artichokes to endangered Zebras. Self-driving cars to Shakespeare. Audience participation is encouraged. You have to eat some time. Enjoy a great meal and learn something while you're eating!

Exotic Solar Systems on the Path to Earth-Like Planets
Monday, March 12, 2018
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Forager Tasting Room & Eatery

Humans have long wondered what other planetary systems are like and if potentially Earth-like planets exist around other stars. From four years of data from NASA's Kepler Mission we can now confidently say that the average planetary system looks nothing like our own.  Nature often makes compact planetary systems where several planets orbit closer in than Mercury's distance, where our planetary system is entirely empty.  I will discuss a variety of recent estimates that all point to tens of billions of Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way.  The "exoplanet" field is now gearing up for finding even more planets, around nearby bright stars, and using advanced space telescopes to probe their atmospheres.

Jonathan Fortney is an Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Director of the Other Worlds Laboratory.  He is an expert in understanding the atmospheres, interiors, and compositions of planets inside and outside of the solar system.  He was been a member of the Science Team for NASA's Kepler Mission to find exoplanets and NASA's Cassini Mission at Saturn.  An author of over 200 scientific papers, Fortney was awarded the 2010 Urey Prize from the American Astronomical Society for his work on understanding the properties of exoplanets.


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Entry is free! But please consider ordering some food and a drink to support *Forager, our host.