Flandrau Science Center's next Science Café will feature Daniel Apai, assistant professor for exoplanetary systems at the University of Arizona. Apai's presentation titled "The Hunt for Other Earths: Searching for Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone" will explore his research on planets outside our own solar system.
Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars in solar systems other than that of Earth. In recent years, astronomers have discovered many planets orbiting distant stars, and they are discovering ways to analyze conditions on those planets.
Apai's research focuses on the formation and properties of exoplanetary systems, through direct observations of protoplanetary and debris disks and giant exoplanets. He is particularly interested in the formation of habitable planets and the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres, including the search for biomarkers.
Apai's group studies exoplanets via high-contrast imaging and by observing exoplanetary transits and eclipses. High-contrast imaging allows the exploration of the exoplanet population in the outer planetary systems, leading to the discovery and characterization of giant planets and constraints on their frequency. Planetary eclipses, on the other hand, enable the study of heavily irradiated exoplanets with atmospheres as hot as red dwarf stars.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. It is wise to arrive early. We hope to see you there.