Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures
Another Pale Blue Dot: The Search for Exoplanets
Another Pale Blue Dot: The SETI Institute's Search for Exoplanets
Monday, January 14, 7:30 pm
Featuring Dr. Franck Marchis Senior Planetary Astronomer, SETI Institute & co-founder-Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar
In only two decades, we’ve gone from the mere speculation about planets beyond our solar system (“exoplanets”) to being able to observe them through a variety of methods. Dr. Franck Marchis, Planetary Astronomer and chair of the exoplanet group at the SETI Institute, will discuss new and sophisticated projects which aim to image directly those exoplanets. Future instruments could soon deliver an image of a cousin of Earth, or another Pale Blue Dot, a planet similar to our own.
Is Earth the only "Pale Blue Dot" in the Universe? Hear from SETI scientist Franck Marchis on the increasingly high-tech hunt for exoplanets.
About Franck Marchis
Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Scientist at the SETI Institute and Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar. Marchis earned his PhD in Astrophysics at the Université Paul Sabatier, France, in 2000. He is a planetary astronomer with 22 years of experience in academic, international, and non-profit scientific institutions and has conducted multiple research projects in a wide range of areas. He is best known for his discovery and characterization of multiple asteroids, his study of volcanism on Jupiter's moon Io, and imaging of planets around other stars (exoplanets). Today, he dedicates most of his energy to instruments capable of imaging and characterizing Earth-like exoplanets by being involved in education, public outreach, technology, and scientific investigations related to those ambitious projects both in the United States and in Europe. Marchis is also involved in companies related to astronomy. He is a co-founder of the aforementioned Unistellar along with being its Chief Scientific Officer, and is scientific advisor for VR2Planets and NellyBenHayoun Studios. In April 2007, the asteroid numbered 1989SO8 was named “(6639) Marchis” in honor of his work in the field of multiple asteroids. He has also been a consultant and interviewee in several science documentaries for the Science channel, BBC, ARTE and news media in English, French and Spanish.