Sorry, Sold Out: Meet The Astronomer: Dr. Keivan Stassun

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Sorry, Sold Out: Meet The Astronomer: Dr. Keivan Stassun
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Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory says
NASA's recently completed Kepler mission has uncovered thousands of distant solar systems, the vast majority of which contain "gas giant" planets like our Jupiter and Saturn. Now astronomers are redirecting the quest toward the discovery of solar systems with planets most like our own terrestrial home.

The NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, to be launched in 2018, will survey the brightest stars across the entire sky searching for "Earth 2.0," those Earth-like planets orbiting relatively nearby stars and whose atmospheres could be probed for signs of habitability by the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

During this talk, Dr. Keivan Stassun, Vanderbilt University Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Fisk University, will summarize the promise of the TESS mission for detecting other worlds like our own and identifying other places in the universe where life just might be possible.

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More about Dr. Stassun:

After earning A.B. degrees in physics and in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1994, Stassun earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 and was a NASA Hubble Space Telescope postdoctoral research fellow. He joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in 2003, and his research on the birth of stars and planetary systems has appeared in more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2007, the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-intensive Astrophysics (VIDA) was launched with Stassun as its Founding Director. He is a co-investigator of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), chairs the executive committee of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Physical Society. Since 2004, he has served as Founding Director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program through which Fisk University has become the top producer of African-American master’s degrees in physics and Vanderbilt University has become the top producer of PhDs to underrepresented minorities in physics, astronomy, and materials science.
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By: Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory

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