Colloquium on extrasolar planetary searches – Wednesday, Feb. 1

Ray Jayawardhana

Our next Fermilab Colloquium will take you out of this world.

Astronomer, writer and speaker Ray Jayawardhana investigates the origins and diversity of planetary systems and the prospects for life in the universe, using many of the world’s largest telescopes.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 4 p.m. in One West, he will give a colloquium presentation on ongoing searches for extrasolar planets. These searches have revealed a remarkable diversity of worlds, and comparative studies of their properties have begun in earnest. Planets caught in transit are particularly well suited for atmosphere characterization. Ray will discuss recent results using Kepler data as well as ground-based observations, including attempts to extend these techniques to super-Earth planets.

A prolific researcher with more than 110 scientific papers to his credit, Ray’s discoveries have garnered widespread attention. Ray is also an award-winning writer and author of popular books. He speaks regularly to a broad range of audiences, and makes frequent media appearances. Ray is the dean of science and a professor of physics and astronomy at York University. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he uses many of the world’s largest telescopes to explore planetary origins and diversity.

Pushpa Bhat is the chair of the Fermilab Colloquium Committee, which organizes the colloquium series.