138 – Prof Ray Jayawardhana – Strange New Worlds

Professor Ray Jayawardhana is the Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics and the Steacie Fellow at the University of Toronto. He has just written a book called Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System, and he chatted to me about:

– some of his background, and study areas
– the changes in extra solar planet research over the past 15 years
– this history of extra solar planet discovery
– is our solar system typical?
– the diversity of what we have found
– how do gas giants exist close to their parent star?
– how has our understanding of extra solar planets changes our understanding of our own solar system?
– the different detection methods for finding extra solar planets
– the Kepler mission
– are our observations skewed because of the technological capabilities we currently have?
– how can microlensing be used?
– examples of some of the different systems discovered
– some explanations on the sizes of supermassive planets at great distances from their star
– Prof Jayawardhana’s new book
– some of the people who have discovered extra solar planets
– one of the first instances of an explanation of some of the techniques used to discover extra solar planets today
– what might the discovery of life on extra solar planets mean for us as a species?
– what kind of life might be out there?
– Prof Jayawardhana’s work on meteorites in Antarctica

Today’s listener of the episode is Hannah Souter from the UK.

Download MP3 of Ep 138

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