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November 15, 2013: The Golden Age of Exoplanet Discovery

Posted on Aug 26, 2013 in Seminars

Joshua Pepper (Lehigh Univ.)

The past two decades have seen an explosion of discovery of extrasolar planets.  We are now assembling a picture of the variety of planetary systems in our galaxy, detecting planets in previously unexpected configurations and types.  I will describe the results from recent exoplanet surveys, including the Kepler space mission, and the ways in which our understandings of planet formation and evolution have been revolutionized.  I will describe the next steps in exoplanet discovery, including the work of low-cost small telescopes, and the future NASA missions that will move us toward the direct detection of biomarkers in the atmospheres of habitable exoplanets.