Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 18:30
Event Host: 
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

We stand at an epochal moment in human history – we are about to learn if we are alone in the universe. The Kepler Space Telescope has shown that Earth-like worlds are commonplace. NASA is planning to spend billions of dollars on future space telescopes that will seek definitive proof of the existence and habitability, if not evidence of actual inhabitation, of rocky, Earth-like worlds around the nearest stars. Three large consortia are trying to beat NASA to this goal by planning and building the next generation of extremely large ground-based telescopes, including the Carnegie Institution’s Giant Magellan Telescope, now under construction in Chile. This talk will summarize the amazing discoveries that led us to this point, and discuss the competing visions for discovering life beyond our planetary system.


Scientific Area: