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Searching for exoplanets with PLATO

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Oliver Normand.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for their 1995 discovery of an exoplanet around a Sun-like star. Since their pioneering observations, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered by space- and ground-based surveys.

Many of these planets are highly exotic and extreme worlds, but none have been found which resemble our own Earth. This is primarily because existing surveys have little sensitivity to Earth-like worlds, and as a result we cannot yet say how typical our Solar System is of other planetary systems.

The PLATO space telescope seeks to redress this balance by searching specifically for Earth-like worlds. In this talk, I will set out the achievements and limitations of existing exoplanet surveys, how PLATO will improve sensitivity to Earth-like worlds, and the challenges PLATO will face.

The talk will be followed by refreshments outside the lecture theatre.

The talk will be at the usual location of Wolfson lecture theatre in the Department of Chemistry. The entrance is the opposite side of the building to Bristol-Myers-Squibb Lecture theatre and is opposite the car park- shown by the red arrow on the map. https://map.cam.ac.uk/Department+of+Chemistry#52.197964,0.125242,18

Tickets are £2 or free for members. Annual membership (£7) and life membership (£12) can also be purchased at the event – please bring cash. The talk will be followed by refreshments outside the lecture theatre.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

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