Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanets

22 November 2012

On 20 November in Rutherford Lecture Theatre 1 of the University of Kent, Canterbury, Dr Suzanne Aigrain from Oxford University gave a wonderful lecture on 'Exoplanets'.

Dr Suzanne Aigrain with London and South East members

Less than twenty years ago, the Solar System was the only planetary system we knew about. Since then, astronomers have discovered many hundreds of exoplanets - planets that orbit other stars than the Sun.

We now know that exoplanets are common, perhaps even outnumbering the stars in our Galaxy. Some of them are so utterly unlike the Solar System planets that they challenge both our imagination, and our theories of how planets form and evolve.

Dr Suzanne Aigrain gave a crystal clear account of the successful  search, in the past decade,  for exoplanets and their characterization. It is conjectured  that some form of life must be discovered eventually.

This was a joint meeting with SEKAS. Left to right in the photograph are Dr. Cyril Isenberg, Universoity of Kent, Dr Suzanne Aigrain, University of Oxford, and Mr Phillip Young, South East Kent Astronomical Society.