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Are we alone in the Universe? Are there other planets that can support life? How do we find out? This talk will discuss these burning questions, and all you ever wanted to know about the NASA Kepler mission!
Sounding Stars and the Search for Other Worlds
Professor William Chaplin
Just like musical instruments, stars like our Sun resonate, playing a stellar symphony that belies their true nature. How many of these stars have orbiting planets, which may be capable of harbouring life? Do special stellar properties make habitable planets more likely, could life be common throughout the Galaxy? Could some Sun-like stars be too unsafe for their own planets? This talk is about the technique of asteroseismology, highlighting results from the NASA Kepler Mission.
Listening to the Gravitational Universe
Astronomy has relied upon what we can see with electromagnetic radiation—light. But what are we missing that we cannot see? Gravitational radiation gives us an extra sense to use to learn about the cosmos. In 2015 we will begin to listen for gravitational waves, and their detection could reveal the hidden gravitational universe of black holes and neutron stars.