The hunt for planets that orbit stars other than the Sun is a booming astronomical industry. Results from facilities all over the world, particularly from NASA’s Kepler satellite, have shown that exoplanets are common, and have given new insight into the formation of our own Solar System. The latest planet-hunting satellite, TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite), provides a chance to find planets around brighter stars. In this talk, Chris Lintott will talk about what we know – and don’t know – about how planets form and will explain how you, yourselves, might find an exoplanet of your own using only a laptop.
Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. His background is in work on the chemistry associated with star formation, but these days he thinks about galaxy formation.
As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who run the world’s most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti.
A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known as co-presenter of the BBC’s long-running Sky at Night programme.