A public lecture will be given on Friday April 6, 2018 at 18:30 at Redmonds Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5UG (doors opening 18:15).
Prof. Giovanna Tinetti (University College London, UK)
Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy
The Earth is special to us - it's our home. But is it really special as a planet? Every star we can see in the night sky is likely to be orbited by planets. There are probably a thousand billion planets in our galaxy alone. In about twenty years, over 3500 "exoplanets" have been discovered in distant solar systems. There are planets completing a revolution around their mother star in less than one day, as well as planets orbiting two or even three stars or moving on trajectories so eccentric as to resemble comets. Some of them are freezing cold, some are so hot that their surface is molten. But beyond that our knowledge falters: What are they made of? How did they form? What's the weather like there? Are they habitable?
Finding out why are these new worlds as they are and what is the Earth's place in our galaxy and - ultimately - in the universe, is one of the key challenges of modern astrophysics.