The Next 40 Years of Exoplanets

Web archive of the meeting

Click here for the MIT webarchive

Media coverage of the meeting

Planet-hunting pioneer calls for probe to Alpha Centauri – Nature News Blog (May, 27 2011)
Rage against the dying of the light – Astrobiology Magazine (June 2, 2011)

Next 40 years of exoplanetsThe field of exoplanets is maturing but still with huge unrealized potential.
At the same time, parts of the field of exoplanet research are saturating, and the holy grail to find and identify an Earth analog via a Terrestrial Planet Finder/Darwin-type mission is looking more and more distant. Professor Seager convened her exoplanet friends (most with assigned topics) to give short (10 mins) provocative and visionary talks on where and how the field of exoplanets should move forward.

Invited speakers and topics

“Out of the Shadows”

Prof. Sara Seager (MIT) – “Opening Remarks”
Prof. David Charbonneau (Harvard University) – “The (Second) Closest Earth”
Dr. Drake Deming (NASA/GSFC) – “Finding the Key Atmospheres, and Beyond”
Prof. Vikki Meadows (U. Washington) – “A Futuristic Virtual Planetary Laboratory”

“Stars and Planets Within our Reach”

Prof. Geoff Marcy (UC Berkeley) – “Hidden Challenges”
Dr. Shawn Murphy (Draper Labs) – “The Nature of Space Exploration and the Future of Our Civilization”
Prof. Sara Seager (MIT) – “The Legacy of Exoplanets around the Nearest Stars”

“The Census and Discovery of Earths”

Prof. Natalie Batalha (San Jose State U.) – “Kepler Status and Prospects”
Matt Smith (Aero/Astro graduate student MIT) – “ExoplanetSat”
Dr. Matt Mountain (STScI Director) – “Does JWST = TPF-C?”

“Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Prof. Dimitar Sasselov (Harvard) – “Exoplanets and the Origin of Life”
Dr. William Bains (MIT and Rufus Scientific) – “New Life and New Civilizations: Exoplanets and Astrobiology”

“Can We Shape the Future?”

Dr. Lisa Kaltenegger (MPIA) – “Exoplanet Characterization by 2050”
Rebecca Jensen-Clem (Physics undergraduate student, MIT) – “The Future of Exoplanet Science”
Mary Knapp (Aero/Astro undergraduate student, MIT) – “The Future of Exoplanet Detection and Characterization: Engineering Challenges”
Dr. John Grunsfeld (STScI Deputy Director and Former Astronaut) – “TBD”
(Dr. Grunsfeld’s talk really is titled TBD)


Next 40 years speakers

Next 40 years participants