May Regular Meeting - via Zoom

May 06, 2022, 7:00PM: May Regular Meeting - via Zoom

Characterizing Planets Around Other Stars: The Quest to Understand Planet Formation

With Dr. Christopher Johns-Krull

With over 5000 planets confirmed around other stars, the field of extra-solar planet studies is moving beyond merely discovering these worlds around other Suns, and is increasingly focused on characterizing planets to learn more about them.  The wide variety and configuration of the planets we have discovered has caused us to reconsider many of our ideas of how planets form, and many questions still remain.  Finding and characterizing planets around young stars provides new clues to understand planet formation. 

This talk will describe recent work at Rice University that has for the first time been able to distinguish the formation pathway of a young planet.  The talk will then look forward to efforts underway to search for inhabited worlds around our nearest stellar neighbors.

Our Speaker : Dr. Christopher Johns-Krull is Professor of Astronomy at Rice University where he has been a member of the faculty since 2001. Chris received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley after which he held several Postdoctoral and Research positions before he found his way back to Texas where he began his education by earning undergraduate math and physics degrees with High Honors from the University of Texas, Austin.

In addition to his own research and teaching responsibilities, Chris has actively served the astronomical community as a reviewer for several prominent journals and on numerous review boards and committees which organize and help the whole astronomical enterprise to run. He also has an extensive list of both honors and publications.

Of great interest to the amateur astronomy community is the high level of astronomy outreach Chris has done over the past 20 years throughout Texas, speaking to astronomy clubs, Astronomy Day, other public events such as at the McDonald Observatory, and to schools throughout the state. Chris is a very active member of the professional astronomy community a true friend amateur astronomy. We are privileged to have Chris present to HAS!

To Register for Zoom Meeting: Our May General meeting will be held remotely via Zoom, as this seems to be the most convenient way for HAS members to attend.  Periodically though, we will schedule hybrid in person + Zoom meetings as we did in March. So stay tuned!

Please use the following link to register:

Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  We hope to see you online with us on Friday evening May 6th!

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