We sincerely thank Renishaw for sponsorship
Free and open to non-members.
For more information contact Robert Thomson (R.R.Thomson@hw.ac.uk)
All talks start at 7.30pm in the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22 - 26 George Street, with refreshments from 7.00 pm
Tuesday 5th December 2017 - Dr Guillem Anglada Escude (Queen Mary Univ. of London)
Lecture Title: Beyond Proxima b
Abstract: The existence of Proxima b - a possibly terrestrial planet in the habitable zone of the nearest star to the Sun - is a lucky coincidence but not an event of cosmic fortune. Red dwarf stars that cannot be seen via naked eye are the most common stars in the Galaxy (about 70% of them) and detecting small, rocky, temperate and potentially habitable planets is way easier than around more massive stars like our Sun. I will put the discovery of Proxima b in the context of exoplanet detection and what we know in terms of the galactic abundance of planets around these stars. The smallness of the star also means that the planet-star contrast is better for potential follow-up studies such as atmospheric characterization and future attempts of direct imaging it. Looking into the future, the existence of terrestrial planets so close to our Sun has renewed the interest on advanced concepts to obtain direct images of them, and even sending interstellar probes within the next century. I will also highlight the unique public engagement opportunities enabled by science cases with intrinsic interest to permeate science into popular culture.