1. Geoff Marcy: Discovery of the First Earth-Size Planets and Prospects for Life in the Universe

    01:22:46

    from Steve Croft Added 399 2 0

    Geoff Marcy presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on May 17th, 2011. Science fiction taught us that our Milky Way Galaxy abounds with habitable planets populated by advanced civilizations engaged in interstellar commerce and conflict. Back in our real universe, Earth-like planets and alien life have proved elusive. Has science fiction led us astray? NASA recently launched a new space-borne telescope, Kepler, dedicated to discovering the first Earth-like worlds around other stars. We announced a truly rocky planet and the discovery of over 1200 planets having sizes less than twice that of Earth. These discoveries offer clues about the prevalence of worlds suitable for life. But what properties make a planet livable? How common is life in the universe, especially intelligent life? New telescopic and biological observations are providing the first answers to these questions. Geoff Marcy is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Marcy's research is focused on the detection of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. His team has discovered more than 100 extrasolar planets, allowing study of their masses and orbits. Among the planets discovered are the first multiple-planet system, the first Saturn-mass planet, the first Neptune-mass planet, and the first transiting planet. Ongoing work is designed to study the mass distribution of planets and the eccentricity of their orbits, including the successful search for Earth-like planets with NASA's Kepler satellite. Dr. Marcy is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, received the Carl Sagan Award from the Planetary Society, and was named the Space Scientist of the Year by Discover magazine. Check out more UC Berkeley science lectures on this channel, or see more information about the Science@Cal Lecture Series at http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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    • Geoff Marcy: The Search for Habitable Planets and Life in the Universe

      01:08:31

      from Steve Croft Added 1,772 7 2

      Geoff Marcy presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on January 17th, 2009, in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, as part of the series described at http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya . Now precisely 400 years after Galileo turned his first telescope heavenward, where do we humans fit in the cosmos? Science fiction depicts our Milky Way Galaxy as teeming with habitable planets populated by advanced civilizations that engage in interstellar travel and exploration. Back in our real universe, Earth-like planets and alien life have proved elusive. Where are they? Has science fiction led us astray? In 2009, astronomers will launch the first searches for Earth-like worlds around other stars, using extraordinary new telescopes for the task. These legacies to Galileo's little scope will catapult humanity into a wild race to discover inhabited worlds and extraterrestrial life. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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      • Lucianne Walkowicz: Magnetic Stars, Space Weather and Life: Stellar Activity and its Effect on Planets

        01:00:50

        from Steve Croft Added 1,263 5 1

        Lucianne Walkowicz presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on June 19, 2010, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series described at http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures Sunspots are some of the oldest astronomical phenomena observed by human beings. These "freckles" on the the face of our Sun may look innocuous, but they are actually the footprints of huge magnetic loops that protrude from our star. These loops sometimes twist and snap, causing spectacular solar flares that send radiation and energetic particles hurtling towards Earth. These flares are responsible for beautiful aurorae, but they can also cause the troubling disruption of satellites and other infrastructure. Similar phenomena are observed on many other stars in our Galaxy, with some stellar flares being even more powerful than those of the Sun. What is it like to be a planet around those stars? How do flares and starspots affect a planet's ability to support and sustain life? These are just some of the questions we will explore. Dr. Walkowicz is a Kepler Postdoctoral Fellow in the Astronomy Department at the UC Berkeley. She studies magnetic activity in the atmospheres of cool stars through both observation and theory. She is active in the development of the next generation of ground-based telescopes as Chair of the Transient Working Group for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and is a member of the team working to find earth-sized planets using the new Kepler space telescope. Dr. Walkowicz grew up in New York City, before obtaining her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins, and a PhD from the University of Washington. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing and writing comics, and painting. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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        • Gibor Basri: The Kepler Mission: A Search for Earth-sized Planets

          51:38

          from Steve Croft Added 254 0 0

          Gibor Basri presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on April 17, 2010, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series described at http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures Hear about the ongoing "Kepler Mission" - a dedicated space telescope that searches for rocky planets around other stars using the "transit" method. Learn about how it works, some of the results so far, and how it will help determine whether we are alone in the galaxy or not. Gibor Basri is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, an expert in brown dwarfs, and a co-investigator on the Kepler mission. He has written nearly 200 technical publications, including numerous review articles. There are more than 7000 citations to his works. Professor Basri was awarded a Miller Research Professorship in 1997, and became a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer in 2000. Professor Basri is passionate about science education, and encouraging the participation of minorities in science. He has served since 1998 on the Board of the Chabot Space and Science Center, and as a Board Member for the "I Have a Dream, Oakland" Foundation for a decade. In 2007 he was selected by Chancellor Birgeneau after a national search as the founding Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at Berkeley. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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          • Meredith Hughes: How to Build a Planet

            51:36

            from Steve Croft Added 295 0 0

            Meredith Hughes presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on September 17th, 2011, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series described at http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures The discovery of extrasolar planetary systems has overturned entrenched ideas about how our own planetary system formed. Around other stars we find exotic planets like nothing we see around our Sun: hot Jupiters, super-Earths, and massive planets at Kuiper Belt distances and beyond. Where do they come from, and can we devise a story of planet formation that can account for the wide diversity of systems we see around our own star and others? This talk will introduce you to some of the ways we learn about planet formation, starting with evidence from observations with the naked eye and small telescopes and proceeding to the latest in high-resolution optical, infrared, and radio telescope observations of the disks of gas and dust around young stars. We will explore the main theories and open questions about how planets form in circumstellar disks, and attempt to place our solar system in context: are we normal? Meredith Hughes is a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, studying planet formation primarily through short-wavelength radio observations of circumstellar disks. She holds a B.S. in physics and astronomy from Yale University and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in astronomy from Harvard University. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for science, conservation, and astronomy, and has been a volunteer interpreter with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the National Park Service Videography and editing by Chris Klein, Andrew Siemion and James Anderson. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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            • James Graham: Imaging Planets Beyond the Solar System

              50:09

              from Steve Croft Added 464 0 2

              James Graham presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on May 16, 2009, in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, as part of the series described at astro.berkeley.edu/iya . The last few years have seen a revolution in the study of planets because we now have detections of nearly 250 planetary systems. These detections are indirect, based on observation of the parent star (eclipses or changes in velocity that betray orbital motion). The next step in this adventure is to see these planets directly. Direct detection is exceedingly hard; for example, Jupiter is about a billion times fainter than our Sun. Prof. Graham was a member of the first team to successfully take a photograph of a planet orbiting another star - a feat hailed as one of Time Magazine's 10 biggest scientific breakthroughs of 2008. He is the Chair of the Department of Astronomy at UC Berkeley. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us

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              • Extrasolar Planets - Gregory Laughlin, UCO/Lick Observatory

                34:53

                from Kavli Frontiers of Science Added 163 0 0

                The Galactic Planetary Census Gregory Laughlin Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics UCO/Lick Observatory The past decade has spawned a revolutionary new astronomical field: the study of alien planetary systems. Astronomers have now found nearly 200 extrasolar worlds, which populate planetary systems of astonishing diversity. Many of the first extrasolar planets to be detected were "Hot Jupiters" with orbital periods of only a few days, and eccentric giants, which are Jupiter-sized planets orbiting at distances simular to the Sun-Earth distance. We now also know of frigid worlds only a few times more massive than Earth orbiting red dwarf stars, and bizarre multiple-planet systems that have likely experienced histories rife with planetary close encounters, collisions, and ejections. Extrasolar planets are allowing us to understand how planetary systems form and evolve, and they are allowing us to place our own planetary system into the context of the galactic planetary census. In this talk, I'll explain the mechanisms (transits, radial velocity, microlensing) by which extrasolar planets are detected, and I will give an overall sense of the distribution of planetary properties. I'll argue that within the next ten years, we will know whether systems like our own are common or rare, and that we will almost certainly have specific examples of alien Earths – terrestrial planets orbiting at distances from their parent stars where liquid water, and life can exist.

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                • Extrasolar Planets - Discovering New Worlds Korean language version

                  30:46

                  from Albedo Fulldome Added 62 1 0

                  Duration: 30 min. Audience: general audience, families & school programs Language: English, Spanish, Catalan, French, Korean and Dutch Technical data: 4K Available in stereoscopic 3D We live on a small planet that revolves around a star that is no different in size, luminosity, or location, than any other. It is just one among many. Are the planets that orbit our star what distinguish it from the others? Are there also extra solar planets that revolve around other stars? If that was the case, could it be that there are inhabitable worlds like Earth? The endless variety of the Solar System is barely a reflection of the infinite diversity of the Universe. But, until now, we only know of one planet where life has developed… ours! Astronomers on Earth study the movements of the stars, searching for planets in other suns. Using unique instruments, they observe thousands of stars at the same time; minute by minute, measuring the amount of light from each one of them with extreme precision, and detecting if one of them periodically changes brightness, even if the change is barely perceptible, by one part per ten thousand. Scientists who analyze the gathered data are able to tell if the star is a candidate for having at least one planet. Scientists hope one day to find life somewhere on one of the extra solar planets, even if only in the form of microorganisms. This would be a historical discovery. Could one of these worlds be suitable for the development of life?

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                  • Planètes extrasolaires - A la découverte de nouveaux mondes

                    30:46

                    from Albedo Fulldome Added 208 1 0

                    Duration: 30 min. Audience: general audience, families & school programs Available now in: English, Spanish, Catalan, French Technical data: 4K Available in stereoscopic 3D We live on a small planet that revolves around a star that is no different in size, luminosity, or location, than any other. It is just one among many. Are the planets that orbit our star what distinguishes it from the others? Are there also extra solar planets that revolve around other stars? If that was the case, could it be that there are inhabitable worlds like Earth? The endless variety of the Solar System is barely a reflection of the infinite diversity of the Universe. But, until now, we only know of one planet where life has developed… ours! Astronomers on Earth study the movements of the stars, searching for planets in other suns. Using unique instruments, they observe thousands of stars at the same time; minute by minute, measuring the amount of light from each one of them with extreme precision, and detecting if one of them periodically changes brightness, even if the change is barely perceptible, by one part per ten thousand. Scientists who analyze the gathered data are able to tell if the star is a candidate for having at least one planet. Scientists hope one day to find life somewhere on one of the extra solar planets, even if only in the form of microorganisms. This would be a historical discovery. Could one of these worlds be suitable for the development of life? The search for extra solar planets focuses on the neighboring stars of our galaxy, the Milky Way, but this doesn’t mean they are close to us. Our galaxy is enormous, so enormous that a ray of light takes more than one hundred thousand years to cross from one side to the other. However, if there is an extra-terrestrial civilization in our galactic vicinity, they just may have noticed our presence because, without intending to, we have been transmitting signals for quite a long time. Exotic worlds we might one day get to know…, with their clouds of unusual components…, or volcanoes shooting unthinkable substances into space. And, who knows, we may find our galaxy travel companions there, with forms of life we can’t begin to imagine; and they will be, finally, proof that we are not alone in this minute drop of the cosmic ocean.

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