2008 Lecture Series
Dr. Gregory Laughlin
Searching for Other Habitable Worlds
(June 18, 2008) Dr. Gregory Laughlin from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his colleagues have been leading the way in the search for exoplanets, discovering about 60% of known planets around other nearby stars. For more than a decade, most of the planets that were identified are gas giant planets like our Jupiter. Now, the Keck Planet Hunters are driving the world’s largest telescope to find small rocky planets at distances that could harbor liquid water, a prerequisite for habitable worlds.
Dr. Mike Bolte
Recycling and Synthesis in the Cosmos
(February 10, 2008) Dr. Mike Bolte from the University of California Observatories discusses the enormous advances being made in the study of stellar evolution and the genesis of elements from the simple to the complex. Bolte and his collaborators make observations of the oldest stars and star clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy to better understand the first epoch of star formation. Catch a glimpse of the complex methodology and modeling required to measure the chemistry of the cosmos using the Keck telescopes.
Dr. Richard Ellis
Cosmic Dawn: Pursuit of the First Galaxies
(January 16, 2008) Dr. Richard Ellis discusses how using a pioneering technique called “gravitational lensing” allows an international team of astronomers to measure traces of the very first galaxies formed after the Big Bang. Richard, the Steele Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, and his colleagues have made remarkable progress uncovering the evolution of the early Universe – the light they measure began its journey to the Keck telescopes more than 13 billion years ago.
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