Public Lectures

From cereal box to 757: NASA studies extrasolar planets with instruments of all sizes

Published on March 4, 2021

Speaker:Kevin France
Date:Wednesday, Apr 07, 2021
Location:Zoom (Video on this lecture's webpage.)

Seminar Abstract:

Video of Zoom Webinar Here:

The discovery of extrasolar planets has revolutionized our understanding of humankind’s place in the universe. Recent LASP missions—and concepts in development—investigate science questions related to the most extreme planets in the Milky Way; challenging new measurements of ultraviolet radiation and coronal mass ejections from nearby stars; and the search for “Earth 2.0”.

Missions that range in size and cost provide the right mix of capabilities to answer the outstanding questions in exoplanet science. They also allow LASP to develop instruments and train students to enable even more ambitious science programs over the next two decades. LASP missions discussed will include:  the CUTE mission, NASA’s first grant-funded exoplanet cubesat to survey atmospheric evaporation from gas giant planets; the ESCAPE mission, to identify the most promising star-planet systems in the search for life; and sounding rocket experiments that test LASP instrument designs and flight hardware destined for NASA’s next great observatory that will search for inhabited planets.

In this talk, LASP scientist Kevin France will discuss recent and future missions—from small to large—that study extrasolar planets and their host stars.