Eclipses in Outer Space: How astrophysicists use eclipses of other stars to find new planets

Lauren Weiss

Tuesday April 2nd 2024 - 6:30 pm ET

Leighton Auditorium, Main Branch, St. Joseph County Public Library

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America from Mexico to Maine. South Bend is in the path, and will experience 97 percent of totality; to prepare for this exciting solar event, Lauren Weiss, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and astronomy, will explore how astrophysicists use eclipses of other stars to find new planets.

Prof. Weiss uses observational techniques to discover exoplanets, which are planets around other stars, and characterize their fundamental properties. Her goals are to understand the origin and evolution of planetary systems and assess whether some exoplanets could be habitable.

One way to find planets around other stars in the universe is the eclipse transit method. It works for star-planet systems aligned in a way that, as seen from earth, the planet travels between us and the star, temporarily blocking some of the light from the star once every orbit.

Join us at the St. Joe County Public Library on Tuesday, April 2, at 6:30 pm.

This talk is part of the Our Universe Revealed public lecture series hosted by Notre Dame Science, Indiana University South Bend, and the St. Joe County Public Library.

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