Brave New Worlds: The Discovery and Characterisation of Planets Beyond Our Solar System
Aula Bruno Touschek (LNF )
Aula Bruno Touschek
Over the past three decades astronomers have discovered over 5000 planets orbiting distant stars - known as "exoplanets". In this talk I will outline the ingenious methods that have been used to overcome the extreme challenges involved in finding these exoplanets. I will discuss the stunning variety of exoplanets that we have found, and what we have learnt from these discoveries. I will then discuss how we are able to learn more about these planets using observations that probe their orbits, temperatures, and even compositions. Finally I will finish by looking ahead to what the future might hold in terms of uncovering planets and even life beyond our Solar System.