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CS Seminar: The Search for Life on Planets Orbiting Nearby Stars

Start Date: April 22, 2018
End Date: April 22, 2018

By Prof. Olivier Guyon (Subaru Telescope, Japanese Astrobiology Center, and University of Arizona)
Over the last decade, astronomers have confirmed that most stars host planetary systems, and that potentially habitable planets (planets of similar mass, composition and surface temperature as Earth) are common. They must now be imaged so that their light can be analyzed to reveal presence of water, oxygen, and possibly tracers of biological activity. Directly imaging habitable planets is a formidable technical challenge: they are at least a million times fainter than the stars they orbit and the planet-star angular separation is small. Thanks to recent advances in optical techniques to cancel starlight and to compensate for atmospheric turbulence, these measurements will be within reach of the upcoming generation of large ground and space telescopes. I will describe advanced optical and control techniques that enable exoplanet imaging, and discuss how astronomers and biologists will search for life using multiple measurements and facilities.
Bio: Olivier Guyon (Subaru Telescope, Japanese Astrobiology Center, and University of Arizona) is an expert in exoplanet imaging techniques: coronagraphy, adaptive optics. He leads the Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme-AO (SCExAO) instrument and designs coronagraph systems for future space-based exoplanet imaging missions. He received the US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the MacArthur fellowship for his innovative contributions to astronomical optics. He is also an avid amateur astronomer and citizen science enthusiast, and founded project PANOPTES (Panoptic Astronomical Networked Observatories for a Public Transiting Exoplanets Survey), a citizen science project aimed at building low cost robotic telescopes that can be used to detect transiting exoplanets.

More Information:

For more info contact: Hatem Ltaief: email:
Date: Sunday 22nd Apr 2018
Time:12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Location: Auditorium in the spine, between Bldg 2 and 3
Refreshments: Brown bag Lunch will be provided at 11:45 AM