19 September 2017, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post
Please note the location change for this month only. Click here for directions.
“A Planet for Goldilocks: NASA’s Search for Life Beyond the Solar System”
Natalie Batalha, PhD, NASA Ames Research Center
“Not too hot, not too cold” reads the prescription for a world that’s just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies in the United States and abroad. The goal looms closer as a result of discoveries made by NASA’s Kepler Mission. Launched in March 2009, Kepler is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems orbiting other stars in the galaxy. Finding inhabited environments is a path of exploration that stretches decades into the future. It begins by determining if Goldilocks planets abound. Dr. Batalha will describe the latest discoveries of NASA’s Kepler Mission and the possibilities for finding inhabited environments in the not-so-distant future.
Natalie Batalha is a world renowned research astronomer in the Space Sciences Division of NASA Ames Research Center and as a Kepler Mission Scientist. She has been involved since the Kepler proposal stage and has contributed to its many different scientific aspects, from studying the stars themselves to detecting and understanding the planets they harbor.
Dr. Batalha started her career as a stellar spectroscopist studying young, sun-like stars. She holds a doctorate in Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.