Planets, Patterns, and the Origin of Life
Dr. Lauren Weiss
Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
Exoplanet science is an explosive new field catalyzed by the discovery of over 4000 extrasolar planets via the NASA Kepler and MIT-led TESS missions. The field will continue to evolve rapidly over the next several decades as we push observational techniques toward the discovery of Earth-like planets. Along the way, we are learning about diverse types of planets, their interior and atmospheric compositions, their orbital properties, the systems in which they reside, and how the planets form and change over time. Recent discoveries of patterns have reshaped our understanding of planet formation, with possible implications for the origins of Earth-like planets and life. I will discuss my past, present, and future experiments with observational astronomy to address these topics.
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