In the two decades since the discovery of the first planet orbiting a star other than the Sun, it has become clear that exoplanets are ubiquitous in our galaxy. With over 3000 exoplanetary systems known, their unexpected properties continue to surprise and confound astronomers. Most of these systems have been discovered by indirect methods. In the past few years, a host of new instruments have been built with the specific goal of directly detecting the light from extrasolar planets. This technique, called "direct imaging", is revolutionizing this rapidly changing field. Dr. Konopacky will discuss the latest discoveries with direct imaging and what these discoveries have taught us about how solar systems like our own may have formed. We will also discuss future missions that will finally achieve the ultimate goal of this field - directly detecting light from other Earth-like planets.
Bio: Quinn Konopacky is an Assistant Professor of Physics in the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UC San Diego. Professor Konopacky uses high resolution techniques on large ground based telescopes to study star and planet formation. She got her Ph.D. in astronomy at UCLA in 2009 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Toronto before joining the faculty at UC San Diego in January 2015
The monthly lecture series sponsored by SD Skeptic Society features a presentation on a scientific or skeptical topic.
The suggested donation for lecture attendance is $5. Your tax-deductible donations help support the San Diego Skeptic Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to critical and scientific thinking. If you're a frequent attendee, see the welcome desk for joining the membership.
About SD Skeptics:The San Diego Skeptic Society (formerly SDARI) is a community resource that hosts lectures on various topics (science, history, etc) and sponsors prizes in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair every spring.
Lectures start promptly at 7pm. If this is your first event, please come early and introduce yourself!
Please note: The entrance to Joyce Beers Community Center is between two restaurants, Aladdin’s and Panera Bread. The address 3900 Vermont Street should be the most accurate for GPS directions. There is free parking available in the underground lot across the street (behind and under Ralphs / Trader Joes). Parking in the above ground lot is limited to 2 hours and cars have been ticketed / towed for infractions.