On May 11th, 2016 at 7 pm, Dr. Stephen Kane of San Francisco State University will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on: “Finding a New Earth: Exoplanets and the Habitable Zone” in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, in Los Altos, CA.

The talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, now in its 16th year.

Over the past two decades, over 1500 new planetary systems have been discovered, many of which include planets quite different from those in our own Solar System. A key step towards finding “Earth 2.0” will be to identify rocky planets that occupy the “Habitable Zone” of their stars. Dr. Kane will describe what the idea of a Habitable Zone means and show examples of known planets that lie in their star’s Habitable Zone (even if the star is not like our Sun.) He will show how comparative planetology can be used for determining those properties of alien planets that dominate habitability.

Stephen Kane has been researching planets around other stars for more than 20 years and has discovered and characterized hundreds of exoplanets, including Kepler-186f, which is the smallest planet yet to have been found in the Habitable Zone of a star. After spending many years working at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Kane is now a Professor of Astrophysics at San Francisco State University (SFSU). He is the Chair of the Kepler Mission Habitable Zone Working Group and the Director of the Planetary Research Laboratory at SFSU.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos. For directions and parking information, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/transportation.php
For a campus map, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/maps.php

The lecture is co-sponsored by:
* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
* The SETI Institute
* NASA Ames Research Center
* The Foothill College Astronomy Program.

They get large crowds for these talks, so they ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Past lectures in the series can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/SVAstronomyLectures

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: A. Fraknoi/Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

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