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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, March 27, 2020
7:00pm to 9:00pm
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Online Event
Real Images of Exoplanets (None of that Artist Conception Stuff)
Jason Wang, 51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Astronomy, Caltech,
  • Public Event


This event, originally scheduled for March 20, is being moved online in light of the impact of COVID-19. Because this is an online event, the in-person stargazing that normally follows events in this series will not be possible.


7:00–7:30 p.m. - virtual lecture
7:30–9:00 p.m. - virtual panel discussion


We have discovered over 4000 planets orbiting other stars. Most of these exoplanets are detected indirectly by measuring the effect each has on its star, so we are unable to take images of them and must rely on artist conceptions to visualize them. Imaging exoplanets is difficult because it is hard to see a faint planet next to the bright star it orbits around. I will discuss how we have been able to take images of some of these worlds by using the largest telescopes in the world. I will show the dozen or so planets we have imaged. In some cases, we can string together multiple images taken over several years and make time-lapse movies of these planets moving in their orbits. I will discuss what we learn from studying these planets directly and the prospects of imaging an Earth-like planet around another star.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by a Q&A panel and guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing and panel Q&A last 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For more information, please contact Cameron Hummels by email at [email protected].