Title: The Fast Track to Finding an Inhabited Exoplanet
Abstract: The investigation of planets orbiting other stars has moved from the study of gas giants
to the hunt for smaller planets that are predominantly rock and ice in composition. When such
planets are discovered in edge-on orbits, such that the planet and star undergo mutual eclipses, we
are granted the opportunity to determine directly the planetary masses and sizes. Most
interestingly, we can study starlight filtered through the planetary atmosphere to deduce its
chemical composition, and perhaps even search for biosignatures. I will summarize the most recent
results from the NASA Kepler Mission and describe two surveys intended to find the closest
habitable exoplanet.

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