Keck Observatory Donor Salon Talk: The Origin of Earth-Like Planets and Their Water

lauren weiss, phd
Credit: Steve Toepp/University of Notre Dame

Guest Speaker

Dr. Lauren Weiss

Assistant Professor of Physics 

University of Notre Dame

Earth’s extensive surface liquid water, which is unique among the terrestrial planets, is a key aspect of its suitability for life.  Where did that water come from, and can we expect small, rocky exoplanets to be similarly endowed?  In our own solar system, Jupiter was largely responsible for delivering water to Earth.  For the past decade, we have been turning the W. M. Keck Observatory toward distant stars that harbor small, Earth-sized planets to search for Jupiters among them.  Dr. Weiss presents the results of their study and comments on how their new catalog of Jupiter siblings to Earth-like planets will pave the way for finding Earths among the cosmos.

The staff and management of the W. M. Keck Observatory wish to offer our deepest gratitude to our Astronomy Talk Series sponsors, Rob and Terry Ryan.