In the past two and a half decades, more than 4000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars beyond our own Solar System. This has sparked a revolution in astronomy as we realize our Solar System is not alone. However, we still don’t know if our Solar System is rare or unique - the powerful techniques that detect extrasolar planets have discovered systems very different than our own. In recent years, advances in technology have allowed a handful of giant planets to be imaged directly. Find out about the first-ever images of other solar systems - and the technology that has allowed us to discover them, such as the Gemini Planet Imager, as well as the future planet-hunting space telescopes. The ultimate goal is detection of a second ‘pale blue dot’ - an Earth twin where we could even see the biosignatures of extrasolar life. Such a discovery will truly complete the evolution of our view of the Universe.
Speaker: Bruce Macintosh, Stanford
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