Free public talk: The Quest for Alien Worlds and Life Beyond Earth
15 March 2023
UC Erskine Fellow Ray Jayawardhana from Cornell University will discuss The Quest for Alien Worlds and Life Beyond Earth, in a free public lecture.
This month, Professor Ray Jayawardhana, Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences, Hans A. Bethe Professor and Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University and current University of Canterbury Erskine Fellow, will discuss The Quest for Alien Worlds and Life Beyond Earth, in a free and livestreamed public lecture, on Tuesday evening, 21 March, at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.
“Three decades ago, we knew of only one planetary system for sure – our own. Since then, astronomers have found thousands of planets circling other stars, revealing a remarkable diversity of worlds, from hot Jupiters in star-hugging orbits to near-twins of the Earth that could harbour liquid water,” Professor Jayawardhana says.
“These discoveries have surprised us and challenged our preconceptions many times over. We are using the biggest telescopes on the ground and in space, including the James Webb Space Telescope, to do ‘remote sensing’ of these alien worlds, to learn about their characteristics and assess prospects for life elsewhere. What’s at stake is a true measure of our own place in the cosmos.”
About the speaker
Professor Ray Jayawardhana is a professor of astronomy and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. A prolific researcher, he investigates the diversity and origins of planets and the prospects for life in the universe, using the world’s largest telescopes. His discoveries have garnered widespread attention and numerous accolades. Ray is also an award-winning writer and author of popular books. An avid traveller, he has visited more than 55 countries, all seven continents, and the Arctic. (More about this work: http://rayjay.net/)
- The University of Canterbury’s Tauhere UC Connect public lecture series offers the community the opportunity to attend topical, interesting, educational lectures on a range of topics given by experts in their fields, connecting town and gown, and increasing knowledge and awareness of the opportunities and expertise UC offers.
- The year 2023 marks the University of Canterbury’s sesquicentenary and the 150th anniversary theme is: Ka titiro whakamuri, ki te anga whakamua | Guided by the Past, Shaping the Future.
- Tauhere UC Connect public lecture: The Quest for Alien Worlds and Life Beyond Earth, presented by Professor Ray Jayawardhana, Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences, Hans A. Bethe Professor & Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University & University of Canterbury Erskine Fellow, from 7pm–8pm, Tuesday 21 March 2023, in C1, Central Lecture Theatre at the University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch. Register to attend free at: canterbury.ac.nz/public-lectures. Tauhere UC Connect talks are also livestreamed on the UC Facebook page and available to watch on YouTube.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
What to read next:
How much screen time is too much in early childhood?
Higher levels of screen time in early childhood have been linked to poorer developmental outcomes for Kiwi kids.
Earthquakes can change the course of rivers – with devastating results
On The Conversation UC PhD student Erin McEwan discusses her new research to determine how floods and earthquakes can occur at the same time.