Evenings with Astronomers: Breakthroughs in Discerning New Worlds – Dr. Heather Knutson

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The past decade has marked a period of great progress in our quest to discover and characterize exoplanets, or planets outside of our own solar system. Observations of transiting exoplanets, in which the planet periodically passes in front of and then behind its parent star as seen from Earth, have given us fascinating insights into exoplanet meteorology. Caltech Professor Heather A. Knutson and her team are leaders in studying the diverse properties of these distant atmospheres, including their compositions, temperatures, and global circulation patterns, using a combination of both space- and ground-based facilities, including the W. M. Keck Observatory. Enjoy this grand tour of what is currently known about the nature of these alien worlds and Knutson’s plans for further exploration of earth-like planets.

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Tonight observers from NASA and CIT will use LRIS-ADC and DEIMOS. Sun set 06:02:00pm rise 06:10:00am
Comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage on 10/19/14 1.usa.gov/12swEQi pic.twitter.com/JRocfaMkoe
LRIS-ADC and DEIMOS are the instruments tonight. Observers are from UCLA and UCSC. Sun set 06:04:00pm rise 06:09:00am
Here on Keck 2 the 1st of our 2 primary fields has just risen above the horizon, so we are busily collecting photons from distant galaxies.
Howdy! This is @rhaegal on Keck 2 with grad student Intae, searching for the most distant galaxies with deep spectroscopy on DEIMOS.