NASA Scientist to Discuss ‘To Explore Strange New Worlds’ at Library of Congress Lecture
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The public is invited to a free talk called “To explore strange new worlds?: NASA’s Small Steps and Giant Leaps in Understanding Worlds Beyond,” with Dr. Padi Boyd in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.
The field of exoplanets is growing explosively, with 3,510 confirmed as of Sept. 15. Dr. Padi Boyd, chief of the Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will talk about exoplanets and humanity’s rapidly evolving view of our place in the universe.
Boyd is also the director of the Guest Investigator Program for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a NASA Explorer mission now under construction led by George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life. The mission will find exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits. TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the Sun to search for transiting exoplanets. The mission is scheduled to launch no later than June 2018.
“In just one generation we’ve gone from knowing of only the planets in our own solar system to discovering thousands of other planetary systems, and understanding that planets around other stars are common,” said Boyd. “NASA missions continue to make exciting contributions to the field of exoplanets, and one day soon we may be able to stand outside on a calm, cloudless night, point to a star, and say ‘that one there has a planet not too different from Earth.'”
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