I gave a talk at Boise State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on exoplanets generally and my group’s research specifically.
The crowd was really amazing. Despite my being delayed by a flat bike tire, there was an enormous group of enthusiastic astrophiles waiting for me when I arrived.
We toured the night sky briefly using the stellarium program, a free (but please donate) and open-source night sky simulator available here — http://stellarium.org/.
I made quite a long talk to fill the two-hour scheduled slot, but there were so many interesting questions, I barely made it halfway through. I’ve posted my abstract and presentation below in case there’s any interest.
The Exoplanet Revolution
The discoveries of hundreds of planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets, have led to a renaissance in astrophysics and revolutionized every sub-discipline within planetary astronomy. The vast array of new planets strains imagination, and even after two decades of discovery, exoplanets pose a host of astrophysical riddles. In this presentation, I’ll describe how these distant worlds have revised our picture of planet formation and evolution. I’ll also discuss outstanding questions in planetary astrophysics and prospects for observational work, including the TESS mission, selected by NASA for a 2017 launch to find more, nearby planets.