September 20, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Building 8 Auditorium
GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT
Environments Collaboration (SEEC) and the Search for Alien
Are we alone? This is
a question that humanity has asked for millennia; finding an
answer is beginning to fall within our grasp. Though just 20
years old, the field of exoplanet science has made remarkable
progress. We now know that rocky planets are common, giant
planets fairly uncommon, and that there are likely more planets
than there are stars. As we move from detecting planets to
characterizing the best ones, it is essential that we assemble a
broad spectrum of expertise.
Goddard Space Flight Center is at the forefront of upcoming
space-based exoplanet science through its leadership roles
within the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which
will find touchstone planets; the James Webb Space Telescope,
which will probe planetary atmospheres; and the Wide-Field
Infrared Survey Telescope which will reveal the architectures of
planetary systems. Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration
brings together the rich variety of science performed at Goddard
to make sense of the data we collect to understand the
characteristics of these planets we study, with a focus on
looking at evidence that could reveal the first signs of life
beyond the Solar System.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Tom Barclay is an Associate Research Scientist working at
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr.
Barclay's research focuses on measuring properties of exoplanets
and their host stars using data from space and ground-based
telescopes. He has made several major discoveries, including the
detection of the smallest known planet, the detection of the
first super-Earth-sized planet orbiting in the habitable zone of
a Sun-like star, and the detection of the first Earth-sized
planet in the habitable zone of another star.
Dr. Barclay joined NASA’s Ames Research Center in 2011 where he
worked on the Kepler space telescope, serving in a variety of
roles before being appointed as Director of the mission’s Guest
Observe Office in 2014. He was instrumental in the development
of the successful K2 mission concept, which utilized the Kepler
spacecraft and searched for exoplanets in the ecliptic plane. In
his role on the K2 mission scientific leadership team he
pioneered the mission's open science initiatives that influence
NASA’s ongoing policies.
Dr. Barclay now serves as Deputy Director of the TESS Science
Support Center. His primary role is in maximizing the science
return from the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite,
which will search for exoplanets orbiting nearby stars,
beginning in 2018.
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