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A Planet for Goldilocks


Hutton Theatre

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Expert talk

2017 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecture

'Not too hot, not too cold' begins the prescription for a world that's just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world, thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun.

The space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond Earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbours to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations.

The 2017 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecturer is Dr Natalie Batalha, an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center and the Mission Scientist for NASA's Kepler Mission. She will present an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

6.30pm, Thursday 19 October