Dangerous Worlds

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Tasker, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Date: 7 September 2017
Start Time: 7 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm

Venue: 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

We thought the planets of our Solar System were weird worlds, until we began to see the lands harboured by our neighbouring stars. Huge Jupiters snuggle so close to their star that their complete orbits last mere days instead of years. Worlds like Star Wars Tatooine begin their nights with dual sunsets, while rogue planets float in perpetual darkness with no Sun at all. Other planets are split lands with hemispheres of eternal day and night, while still more drown in global oceans or seas of lava and tar. Let’s visit worlds more extreme than anything in fiction and ask if any could be called home.

Elizabeth-TaskerElizabeth is an astrophysicist at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Tokyo, where she uses computer simulations to model how stars and planets form. She is originally from the UK, and studied physics at Durham University before completing her doctorate at Oxford. She then crossed to North America to build virtual universes in the USA and Canada before moving to Japan in 2011. Now she works with space missions and planets, finding both easier to understand than the Japanese menu in the JAXA canteen. Her popular science book on exoplanets, ‘The Planet Factory’, will be published by Bloomsbury on 7th September 2017.

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