Main Profile

At A Glance

Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System

Google Tech Talk (more info below) April 4, 2011 Presented by Ray Jayawardhana. ABSTRACT We are living in an extraordinary age of discovery. After millennia of musings and a century of false claims, astronomers have found hundreds of planets around other stars since 1995. These discoveries have surprised us and challenged our views many times over. At the crux of the astronomers' pursuit is one basic question: Is our solar system, with planets in circular orbits, gas giants in the outer realm and at least one warm, wet, rocky world teeming with life, the exception or the norm? It's an important question for every one of us. Astronomers expect to find alien earths by the dozens within the next three years, and to take their spectra, looking for telltale signs of life, before this decade is out. If they succeed, the ramifications for all areas of human thought and endeavour --from religion and philosophy to art and biology-- are profound, if not revolutionary. What's at stake is a true measure of our own place in the cosmos. In Strange New Worlds, renowned astronomer Ray Jayawardhana brings the latest news from the forefront of research, including some of his own findings, and tells a tale rich in history and personalities. RAY JAYAWARDHANA is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. A graduate of Yale and Harvard and a recent winner of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, he uses many of the world's largest telescopes to explore planetary origins and diversity. He is the author of over eighty papers in scientific journals. His discoveries have made headlines worldwide, including in Newsweek, Washington Post, New York Times, Globe and Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, ?BBC, NPR and CBC, and have led to numerous accolades such as the Steacie Prize. He is an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in The Economist, Scientific American, New Scientist, Astronomy, and Sky & Telescope. He is also a popular speaker and a frequent commentator for the media.
Length: 01:07:35

Contact

Questions about Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System

Want more info about Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System? Get free advice from education experts and Noodle community members.

  • Answer

Ask a New Question