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Today's colloquium: Exoplanet atmospheres and the search for extraterrestrial life

Submitter: Colloquium
Description: One of the most exciting discoveries in astronomy in recent years has been the detection of planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Now, fundamental questions can be addressed about the origin and uniqueness of the solar system, and Earth in particular. While the exoplanet population is rapidly being deciphered, and the hunt for rocky Earth-like planets has begun, the first sketchy properties of the hottest planet atmospheres are being determined using planet transits. I will show the unique capabilities of large ground-based telescopes and instrumentation that lift this research to the next level, and outline a path towards using these techniques to search for possible bio-signatures from extraterrestrial life.
Copyright: I. Snellen
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