Prof. John Johnson
"The Frontiers of Exoplanetary Science at Palomar"
15 November 2012 — 7:30 PM PST
Hameetman Auditorium, Cahill Center for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Caltech
Associated with the 2012 Palomar Science Meeting, Caltech Astronomy and Caltech Optical Observatories is happy to invite you a public lecture by
Caltech Prof. John A. Johnson titled "The Frontiers of Exoplanetary Science at Palomar." The abstract for the talk is included below.
This event will be held on Thursday 15 November 2012 7:30 PM PST in the Hameetman Auditorium, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. Seating for the lecture will be on a first-come, first-served basis (with limited reserved seating for persons with disabilities).Abstract: Thanks to the dedicated efforts of planet hunters over the past decade and a half, we now know that the Galaxy is positively teeming with low-mass planets. In particular, the highly successful NASA Kepler mission has ushered us from the era of hunting to a time of plentiful gathering. To meet this paradigm shift, we are designing and building a new observing facility dedicated to the detection of the Earth-like planets around nearby stars. The facility, named Project Minerva, is based on the concept of constructing a larger effective telescope aperture by combining many small, roboticized telescopes. I will present the motivation for our survey by highlighting the exciting planet discoveries from the Kepler mission. These discoveries were made possible using ground-based follow-up observations with the Palomar 60-inch and 200-inch telescopes. I will then present our novel approach of using Project Minerva to extend our knowledge of low-mass planets from the distant Kepler field to the stars right next door to the Sun.
Prof. Johnson joined the Caltech faculty in 2009, and holds dual appointments in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, and the Division of Geology and Planetary Sciences. Prof. Johnson is the 2012 recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Newton Lacy Pierce Prize.
Please see our Cahill Logistics Page for information relevant to Caltech/Cahill visitors.
Thanks go to our Palomar Observatory partners for making this event possible: