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SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, January 20, 2017 7:30pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

The Golden Age of Exoplanet Discovery
Dr. Peter Plavchan
Missouri State University

Dr. Peter Plavchan will be featured at the January meeting of the St. Louis Astronomical Society. The meeting will begin at 7:30 PM Friday, January 20, in McDonnell Hall, Room 162, on the Washington University campus, Saint Louis, MO 63130. McDonnell Hall is accessible from Forsyth Boulevard via Tolman Way. Yellow zone and street parking are available to the audience. The event, cosponsored by NASA's Missouri Space Grant Consortium, is open to the public free of charge.

In 1992, the first two planets orbiting another star were detected. In 1995, another was found around a different star. By January 1, 2017, more than 3,500 "exoplanets" have been detected. Most planets have been found indirectly, but a few have been photographed directly. Some exoplanets are roughly the size of Earth. Some may have surface conditions suitable for alien life to develop. Dr. Plavchan will talk about how exoplanets planets are detected and why so many planets have been found during the past few years. He will explain why the 21st century has turned into the "golden age" of exoplanet discovery.

Peter Plavchan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy, Physics, and Materials Science at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He earned his Doctoral degree in Physics from UCLA. Prior to joining the faculty at Missouri State, he was an Assistant Research Scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at CalTech. His research interests include the study of exoplanets, small cool red stars, planetary formation, and the specialized instruments required for these research areas.

Upcoming Meetings:

February - Pamela Gay, PhD - Super-Secret
Squirrel Stuff - SIU-E
March - Chr istine Floss, PhD -TBA Wash U
April - Kevin Evans, PhD - Weaubleau Impact Structure - MSU
May - Kara Kundert - Cosmic Epoch of Re-Ionization "Skype" - UC Berkeley
June TBA
July: Ryan Clegg-Watkins, PhD - Exploring the Moon from Orbit: Paving the Way for Future Astronaut Explorers - Wash U
August: TBA
September SLAS Collective Solar Eclipse Results
October: Car l Bender, PhD Black Holes and Hawking Radiation Wash U
November: William McKinnon, PhD PLUTO Wash U
December: Amy E Kimball, Skype Event Radio Quasars & the VLA


Meeting Agenda



Introduction of Officers and Visitors

Main Speaker:  Dr. Peter Plavchan

Astro 101:  Astro Events for 2017 - Mark Jones

Star Parties:

Eclipse Task Force Expo

Neil deGrasse Tyson Raffle

Attendance prizes

International Space Development Conference

Library Telescopes

SLAS Coffee Mugs for Sale!

Infini-tees Shirts for Sale!

Eclipse Glasses for Sale!

Other Announcements

Eyepiece kits for sale

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