This lecture was presented on October 14, 2021 by Dr. Phil Plait, astronomer and best-selling author. Plait discussed the explosion in exoplanet detections since the 1990s (over four thousand so far!). These planets orbit a wide variety of stars, and themselves are all wildly different; huge, small, hot, cold, airless, or with thick atmospheres. The lecture explored how astronomers find these planets, how our own compares to them, and how we are coming closer to answering the Big Questions: Is there another Earth out there? And if so, will it support life? Is Earth unique, or is the galaxy filled with blue-green worlds that look achingly like our own?
Learn more about CIERA’s Annual Public Lecture Series program.