Public Lecture by Prof. Natalie Batalha: Lava Worlds to Living Worlds: how a NASA mission sparked the search for life beyond the Solar System
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Hunting exoplanets and life in the Universe
NASA recently announced the end of an era. After nine years of operation, NASA's Kepler spacecraft will be retired, but not without making an indelible imprint on humankind's understanding of the universe. Perhaps its greatest legacy is the knowledge that planets outnumber stars in the galaxy. With over 2,500 planet discoveries and another 2,000 awaiting confirmation, Kepler revealed a staggering diversity of worlds turning sci-fi fantasy into scientific reality.
It also changed our collective perspective regarding the feasibility of finding evidence of life beyond Earth and catalysed efforts across the globe to reach that goal.
In this illustrated, nontechnical presentation, astrophysicist and planet hunter, Dr. Natalie Batalha, the former project scientist for NASA's Kepler mission, will give an overview of Kepler’s remarkable scientific legacy. She will highlight some of the key discoveries and share a preview of exciting follow-up missions in progress and on the drawing board.
With the retirement of Kepler, we pass the baton and watch in anticipation as a new era of exploration unfolds.