Alien Worlds and the Origins of Science
Dr. R. Paul Butler, Staff Scientist at the Earth and Planets Laboratory for the Carnegie Institution for Science, discusses the flood of extrasolar planets being discovered and the realistic prospects of direct imaging and spectroscopy of Earth-like planets around nearby stars within the next generation. Modern science began with Copernicus speculating that the Earth is a planet and that all the planets orbit the Sun. During the first four centuries of modern science, the discovery of extrasolar planets remained tantalizingly out of reach. Finally, in 1995, the first confirmed exoplanets were found. Since then, the trickle of new planets has grown to a flood, first from ground-based precision Doppler surveys, and, more recently, from the Kepler and TESS space missions.
6:30 p.m. | Doors open
7 p.m. | Musical performance
7:30 p.m. | Lecture begins