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MSRAL 2006 Convention

SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, December 19
7:30 pm

The Search For Planets Of Alien Suns


Richard Heuermann
Washington University

One of the most significant scientific discoveries ever made happened in the late twentieth century: the detection of planets in orbit around other stars. Less than two decades later, about 300 extra-solar planets, or ?exoplanets? have been found. Most are exotic ? planets Jupiter-sized but orbiting very close to their parent stars. One has now been directly photographed ? the other three hundred have been detected indirectly. Mr. Heuermann will discuss how these planets have been found and what they might look like. He will also talk about the prospects for finding Earth-like planets in the near future. He will use some excerpts from The Teaching Company?s Understanding the Universe video course, taught by Professor Alex Fillipenko of the University of California, Berkeley.
Rich Heuermann is the Outreach Program Coordinator of the NASA Missouri Space Grant Consortium at Washington University. He is also an amateur astronomer and long-time member of the Saint Louis Astronomical Society.

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