Foothill College hosts astronomy talk on the search for new planets

Astrophysicist Natalie Batalha of NASA’s Kepler Project is scheduled to deliver an illustrated, nontechnical presentation, “A Planet for Goldilocks: Searching for Earth 2.0 Among the Stars,” 7 p.m. Nov. 8 in Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills.

Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world. NASA’s Kepler Mission launched in 2009 with the objective of finding “Goldilocks” planets – “not too hot, not too cold” – orbiting other stars like the sun. Batalha will offer an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key planet discoveries and will preview what’s to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those on the drawing board.

Batalha earned a doctoral degree in astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. She 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 to detecting and understanding the planets they harbor. She served 10 years as professor of physics and astronomy at San Jose State University before joining NASA Ames Research Center. In 2011, she was awarded a NASA Public Service Medal. In 2017, Time Magazine named her to its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, the SETI Institute, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and NASA Ames Research Center.

Admission is free, but parking is $3 (exact change required). Attendees are advised to arrive early to locate parking.

To view past lectures in the series, visit SVAstronomyLectures.

For more information, visit silicon-valley-astronomy- lectures.

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