Join us for an informal presentation on searching for life beyond Earth. Dr. Rachel Smith, NRC Astronomy Lab Director, will discuss the variety of research projects related to finding signs of extraterrestrial life and environments that could support life, within our Solar System and beyond.
About our Speaker
Dr. Rachel Smith is an observational astronomer interested in answering questions related to how our solar system formed and how other solar systems evolve over time. The objects of Smith’s study are the forming stars outside our solar system. Her goals are to observe a variety of protostellar molecules, and expand her studies to include collaborations in laboratories which create simulated interstellar environments.
This artist's concept illustrates Kepler-47, the first transiting circumbinary system — multiple planets orbiting two suns — 4,900 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus. The system was detected by NASA's Kepler space telescope, which measures minisucule changes in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars to search for planets that pass in front of or 'transit' their host star.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle