November 15, 2013: The Golden Age of Exoplanet Discovery

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.

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