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Exoplanets subject of NASA video presentation February 23

image of the Osiris exoplanet

Exoplanet "Osiris," the first planet to be seen in transit (crossing its star) and the first planet to have its light directly detected. It showed that transit observations were feasible and opened up an entire new realm of exoplanet characterization. Credits: NASA, European Space Agency, Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS)

The Illinois State University Planetarium will present “Exoplanets: The Quest for Strange New Worlds” at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 23. The pre-recorded lecture by Eric Mamajek, deputy program chief scientist of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is free and open to the public.

The February 23 showing of Mamajek’s talk on exoplanets is first in a series of free space-related lectures at the Planetarium.

The video presentation of Mamajek’s talk is part of NASA/JPL’s 2017 von Kármán Lecture Series. The presentation explores the latest findings from the Kepler space telescope, along with other space missions and ground-based observatories searching for worlds around distant stars.

Mamajek describes a variety of planets orbiting other suns, examining how common these worlds are and puts into perspective our unique planet, the Earth. Following the video, Illinois State University Planetarium Director and volunteer NASA/JPL Ambassador Thomas Willmitch will answer questions related to exoplanets.

The Planetarium is located under the white-domed roof at the eastern end of Felmley Hall of Science, at the intersection of School Street and College Avenue in Normal. For more information call the Planetarium’s Skyline at (309) 438-5007 or visit the Planetarium website.

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