The NASA Kepler mission revealed that our Galaxy is teeming with planetary systems and that Earth-sized planets are common. However, most of the planets detected by Kepler orbit stars too faint to permit detailed study. The NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS,) launched in 2018, is finding hundreds of small planets orbiting stars that are much closer and brighter. Dr. Dressing will describe the TESS mission and explain how analyses of the TESS planets will allow us to probe the composition of small planets, investigate the formation of planetary systems, and set the stage for the next phase of exoplanet exploration: the quest for the signatures of life in the atmospheres of strange new worlds.
Speaker: Courtney Dressing, UC Berkeley
Cost:Free ($3 parking)
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Los Altos Hills, CA 94022