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Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering pres.

CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. James Kasting

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Our guest for this week's CLaSP Seminar Series will be Prof. James Kasting of Penn State University.
Please join us!

Title: "The Search for Life on Planets Around Other Stars"

Abstract: Planets have now been found around several thousand stars. Some of these are thought to be rocky, and a handful of those lie within the habitable zone of their parent star, where liquid water is stable on the planet’s surface. Two years from now, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope should launch, and it may be able to do spectroscopy on transiting rocky planets around nearby M stars, if good targets are identified by NASA’s TESS mission, which launches a year earlier. The best opportunity to study Earth-like planets will come 15-20 years later, however, if NASA chooses to build one of its proposed direct imaging space telescopes, currently called LUVOIR and HabEx. With such a telescope, one could identify and characterize non-transiting planets around the very nearest stars. This could provide information not only about other Earth-like planets, but also about the existence, or non-existence, of extraterrestrial life.
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