What are Life On PLANETS Live Events?

Each week we connect you directly with professional astronomers that are creating the technologies and techniques for finding life in the Universe. Our format for these hangouts is pretty simple. Each week we discuss brand new topics related to finding life in the Universe and do a deep dive into the topic at hand.

If you’re fortunate enough to be viewing our hangouts live, and want to engage with us directly, you can ask us questions directly in the YouTube Live Event chat box, tweet using the hashtag #LifeOnPlanets, or email us at hello@planets.life

If you can’t make it for the live sessions, no worries, all of our events will be archived on this page for you to view at a later date.


Breakthrough Starshot Updates with Pete Klupar

YouTube Live Event Page

Join us this week for an exciting conversation with Pete Klupar, the Director of Engineering for Breakthrough Starshot. Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for a new technology, enabling ultra-light unmanned space flight at 20% of the speed of light; and to lay the foundations for a flyby mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.

The Breakthrough Initiatives were founded in 2015 by Yuri and Julia Milner to explore the Universe, seek scientific evidence of life beyond Earth, and encourage public debate from a planetary perspective.


pete-klupar

Pete Klupar Biography

Pete Klupar is interested in low cost, high technology efforts with an emphasis on space systems. He has developed and launched more than 50 spacecraft missions. He has spent time in industry, helping to grow a spacecraft startup from 4 employees to over 500. He has also worked in large organizations such as Boeing and Space Systems Loral. He has been involved in government space and aviation programs, most recently at NASA Ames as the director of Engineering. He has been instrumental in reducing the cost of high technology missions, developing several Faster Better Cheaper and Operationally Responsive Space efforts.


Deep Astronomy: Looking for Life in the Universe

Join Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina and Dr. Maud Langlois on a Deep Astronomy: Live Google Hangout. They be discuss the specific techniques and technology needed to find life in the Universe, with Tony Darnell and Harley Thronson from the Deep Astronomy Network.



Episode #9: How To Make Surface Maps of Exoplanets | Rotational Exoplanet Imaging

Hosted by Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina and Kevin Lewis

Tune in this week to listen to Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina talk about a new technique called “rotational exoplanet imaging” to create surface maps of nearby exoplanets.

Event Date & Time
Tuesday, October 24, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



Episode #8: “Behind the Scenes Astronomy” with Stan Truitt (Special Episode)

Hosted by Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina and Kevin Lewis

We’re excited to announce our new Life on PLANETS series called Behind the Scenes Astronomy. These are short episodes where we give you a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be an astronomer.

This week we had the pleasure to be joined by telescope specialist Stan Truitt. Watch as Stan tells funny and interesting stories about some of the most well known ground-based telescopes.

Event Date & Time
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



Episode #7: A New Era of Large Scale Telescopes

Hosted by Dr. Jeff Kuhn, Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, and Kevin Lewis

How do we move beyond Keck era telescopes? What are the techniques to building large scale telescopes for the next 10-15 years.

Event Date & Time

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



 

Episode #6: Extraterrestrial Life Technomarkers

Hosted by Dr. Jeff Kuhn, Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, and Kevin Lewis

What are the technomarkers/technosignatures that scientists should look for to definitively say there is life on an exoplanet?

Watch this episode of Life on PLANETS to find out the minimum detection thresholds needed to find life in the Universe.

Event Date & Time

Monday, October 03, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



Episode #5: Extraterrestrial Life Biomarkers

Hosted by Dr. Jeff Kuhn, Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, and Kevin Lewis

What are the biomarkers and that scientists should look for to definitively say there is life on an exoplanet? Should we look for: Oxygen? Methane? Freon?

Watch this episode of Life on PLANETS to find out the minimum detection thresholds needed to find life in the Universe.

Event Date & Time

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



Episode #4: Proxima b Speculations

Hosted by Dr. Jeff Kuhn with Kevin Lewis

This week’s topics will include:

  • Planet size
  • Temperature
  • Radiation
  • Atmosphere

Reference Links

Below are link to content that was talked about and referenced in this week’s discussion.

What is the minimum mass for Jovian like exoplanets?
The paper, Minimum planetary size for forming outer Jovian-type planets by S. Saski, makes the argument that the minimum core mass of Jovian planets is reduced to less than 0.2 times the present mass of the earth. The results suggest that Uranus and Neptune might form initially from small gaseous protoplanets.

Rotational Exoplanet Imaging
Link to image of the Rotational Exoplanet Imaging process

How to pronounce chlorofluorocarbon
Click here

Event Date & Time

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 12:00pm PDT/3pm EDT



Episode #3: The Breakthrough Starshot

Hosted by Dr. Jeff Kuhn with Kevin Lewis

This week’s topics included:

  • Material science challenges
  • Aiming trajectory at Proxima b
  • Maintaining trajectory over decades
  • Project financing

Reference Links

Below are link to content that was talked about and referenced in this week’s discussion.

Life Before Earth
An extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times suggests that life began before the Earth was formed. Life may have started from systems with single heritable elements that are functionally equivalent to a nucleotide.
Link to paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.3381

Propulsion of steel plate cap
During the Pascal-B nuclear test, a 900-kilogram (2,000 lb) steel plate cap (a piece of armor plate) was blasted off the top of a test shaft at a speed of more than 66 kilometres per second (41 mi/s)
Wikipedia Link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plumbbob#Propulsion_of_steel_plate_cap

Odontomachus(trap-jaw ants)
One study of  recorded peak speeds between 126–230 kilometres per hour, with the jaws closing within just 130 microseconds on average. The peak force exerted was in the order of 300 times the body weight of the ant and acceleration of 1 000 000 m/s² or 100 000 g. The ants were also observed to use their jaws as a catapult to eject intruders or fling themselves backwards to escape a threat.
Wikipedia Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odontomachus



Episode #2: Large Telescopes for Exoplanet Research

This week’s topics included:

  • Comparisons between the large telescopes for exoplanet research
  • Extraterrestrial life detection thresholds

Panelists
Dr. Jeff Kuhn & Dr. Marcelo Emilio




Episode #1: Finding Life on Proxima b

This week’s topics included:

  • Discovering exoplanets with the radial velocity (RV) technique
  • The newly discovered Proxima b exoplanet and how to find life on it
  • Discussion of the Breakthrough interstellar probe mission to Alpha Centauri

Panelists
Dr. Jeff Kuhn, Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, and Dr. Takeshi Sakanoi