The Search for Life on Exoplanets

Date/Time

Wednesday May 16, 2018
06:30 PM until 07:30 PM

Description

Finding compelling evidence for life on another planet would undoubtably be one of the biggest discoveries in the history of the human race. There are many places to look for such biosignatures, both in the Solar System and beyond. From the human perspective, the most exciting place is an Earth-twin around a Sun-like star. Chances are good for finding such a planet within the next few years. However, learning anything other than the planet’s existence and its most fundamental properties such as mass and radius will be extremely difficult. Basic physical principles will prevent us from any detailed analysis of the planet’s atmosphere. Even worse, there are false positives that could lead to a fictitious biosignature detection even if multiple chemical species are detected in a spectra. I will present an important new false positive involving an exo-moon. Speaker: Hanno Rein received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton before becoming an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in 2013, and the Director of the Centre for Planetary Sciences in 2017. His research interests are broad, including planet formation, celestial mechanics, Saturn's rings, stochastic processes, N-body codes, hydrodynamics and high performance computing. He is also the developer of one of the most popular astronomy apps, the Exoplanet App. Everyone welcome. Drop in. No registration required. Free program.

Cost

free

Location

View map S. Walter Stewart Library
170 Memorial Park Ave.
Toronto, ON

Additional Information

Sponsor

S. Walter Stewart Library

Phone

416-396-3975

Contact name

Tara Stadius

Contact email

wastaff@torontopubliclibrary.ca

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