Date and time
Until Thurs 19 October
Various around Aotearoa
Varies with venue
Find out more
A Planet for Goldilocks: The Search for Evidence of Life Beyond Earth
"Not too hot, not too cold" begins 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 around the world thanks in large part to NASA's Kepler Mission which launched in 2009 with the objective of finding Goldilocks planets orbiting other stars like our Sun.
The space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets.
Most recently, our collective imagination was awakened by the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbors to the Sun, turning abstractions into destinations.
Dr. Natalie Batalha, an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center and the Mission Scientist for NASA's Kepler Mission, is the 2017 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lecturer. She will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. She'll give a preview of what's to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.
Locations and times
Auckland – 6 October
University of Auckland (room and time to be confirmed) - no entry charge
Whangarei – 7 October, 7 pm
Tikipunga High School Hall
Admission: Adults $10, Child $5
Book tickets via Planets.nz
Gisborne – 9 October 9
Details to be confirmed
Palmerston North – 10 October 10, 7:30 pm
Community Leisure Centre, Ferguson Street, Palmerston North
Gold coin admission
Christchurch – 11 October
Details to be confirmed
Aoraki Mt Cook – 14 October 7:30 pm
Callesen Theatre and Planetarium, 89 Terrace Road, Mt. Cook Village, Aoraki Mt Cook, Mackenzie
Book tickets via EventFinda
Invercargill – 18 October, 7:30
The Ascot Park Hotel
Admission: Adult & S.I.T Students - $5.00, School Students $2.00
Dunedin – 19 October
Hutton Theatre (Otago Museum).
Time to be confirmed - no entry charge
Natalie has been involved with the Kepler Mission since the proposal stage and has contributed to many different aspects of the science, from studying the stars themselves to detecting and understanding the planets they harbor. She led the analysis that yielded the discovery in 2011 of Kepler-10b — the mission's first confirmation of a rocky planet outside our solar system. Today, Natalie leads the effort to understand planet populations in the galaxy based on Kepler discoveries.
In 2011, Natalie was awarded a NASA Public Service Medal for her vision in communicating Kepler science to the public and for outstanding leadership in coordinating the Kepler Science Team.
In 2015, she joined the leadership team of NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS). NExSS brings teams from multiple disciplines together to understand the diversity of worlds and will lead NASA's efforts to understand which are most likely to harbor life.
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