“Truth is Stranger Than Science Fiction”. Humankind speculated about the existence of planets orbiting other Suns for hundreds if not thousands of years before their existence was finally confirmed. During that time we invented and depicted many new and now iconic sci-fi worlds – mysterious planets with exotic landscapes, orbiting alien star systems. When our technology finally caught up with our imaginations, what we found was even more extraordinary than we had imagined. As science curator at the NASA Exoplanet Archive, I’ll take you on a tour of some of the more fantastic exoplanet discoveries we have made, including some famous, fan-favourite fictional planets brought to life.
Date: Tuesday 18 August 2020
Time: 2 pm to 3.15 pm
Dr Jessie Christiansen is an astrophysicist with the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech, where she searches for, characterises and catalogues planets orbiting other stars.
In 2018 she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for her role with the successful NASA Kepler Mission, which discovered thousands of exoplanets and revealed that rocky planets are common throughout the galaxy.
She was also Griffith University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus of 2018. She now works on the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to find and study the nearest planetary systems to Earth – systems that will be perfect for further study with the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes.