Lucianne Walkowicz

Post-doc, Princeton University

The Exoplanet Revolution

Until just a few decades ago, our knowledge of planetary systems was limited to our own Earth and the neighboring planets of our solar system. Over the past several years, however, thousands of planets have been discovered orbiting stars beyond our sun, allowing us to study our own Earth in the context of other worlds for the first time in history. I will discuss NASA's Kepler Mission, the space telescope responsible for many of these new discoveries, and how it has changed our knowledge of planetary systems forever. Kepler's findings set the stage not only for understanding planetary systems in general, but also for the possibility of finding life beyond planet Earth.