Night Vision: Exoplanets

“Extrasolar planets?” I hear you cry. “We’re still having trouble finding things in our own solar system! How can we spot planets around stars light-years away?”

I’m glad you asked that, my friend! After all, extrasolar planets were only theories until the very end of the 20th Century. And now we have supposedly found over 3500 of them, tiny specks floating around their own little stars. How do we do that? What do we know about them? What might they be like? It’s hard to keep track of it all, separate the science from the speculation.

But fear not! I, Amelia, am here to help guide you through the wonderful world of … well, worlds. We’ll take a look at the clever methods scientists have for detecting these planets–and how people like you can help them. We’ll tour a few of the famous exoplanets: we’ll visit Hot Jupiters, Super-Earths, brown dwarfs, rogue planets, and the recently-discovered TRAPPIST-1 system–a family of seven surprisingly Earthlike planets around a surprisingly not-sunlike star. We’ll also talk about the possibilities for what these planets are like–science-founded speculation on fluorescing rocks, diamond seas, or–maybe, possibly–Earthlike conditions.

Join us for a Night Vision that offers a glimpse beyond our own solar system, into our interstellar community. Admit it: you always wanted to see what was going on in the neighbors’ backyard!

Night Vision: Exoplanets is presented live by Amelia Margetts on Thursday, April 27th and Saturday, April 29th, at 6:45pm in the Hansen Dome Theatre. Tickets are just $2 for the public and free for members of Clark Planetarium.

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