Completing the Copernican Revolution

Lecar Prize Lecture
Thursday, October 22, 2020 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

Of course, the Copernican Revolution will never be completed, but over the past three decades we have made great progress towards understanding the frequency and characteristics of planets orbiting other stars. This colloquium will be a personal account of some of the steps in that progress. I will start by acknowledging the role that Mike Lecar played in getting me involved in this adventure. Then I will talk about some of the unsuccessful projects and proposals that influenced the direction I took, such as the TOPS report, and the SIM and FAME proposals for NASA missions, and the VULCAN search for transiting planets. The Kepler mission, HARPS-N project, and TESS mission all had their setbacks along the way towards ultimate success. A sign of good science is fruitfulness for further research. To finish, I will speculate on some of the future questions that we dream of addressing as we work to advance the Copernican Revolution.

Event Status: