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Topic - The Hunt for Earth-like Planets

The Hunt for Earth-like Planets

If you wish to view a tape of this show; Please contact Sherri Rowe-Lopez at (818) 354-6170.

presented by Dr. Charles Beichman
JPL Scientist of Astronomy and Physics

Thursday, November 29 The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA
Friday, November 30 The Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m.

Admission is free. Seating is limited.
For more information, call (818) 354-0112.

How did we get here? Are we alone? These two questions drive NASA's Origins Program, a series of missions with the main goal of finding habitable, or even inhabited planets, orbiting other stars. We know that Earth has the right environment for living things--it has water, the right temperature, size, density and chemistry. Scientists will hunt for planets in a similar "Goldilocks zone" around other stars--not too hot, too cold, too big or too small. They will use sophisticated instruments to look for the telltale chemical signatures of life on other planets, such as ozone and oxygen. Current technology allows us to find only very large planets, which probably don't have life. The Origins Program is developing new technologies for finding smaller, Earth-like planets that are more likely to harbor life. This presentation will explain the space-based and ground-based observatories that will be used to aid in the search, and what scientists will look for as they try to determine whether or not we are alone in the universe.
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