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Ordinary Meeting: Extrasolar Planets from a Rainy Island

Friday 28th July 2017 - 8:00pm
Topic: Extrasolar Planets from a Rainy Island
Speaker: Dr Hugh Jones, University of Hertfordshire
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: The discovery of Proxima b was an exciting development though it should not have been a big surprise because (1) red dwarfs are the most numerous stars, (2) previous surveys already indicated an abundance of small planets in compact orbits around red dwarfs, and (3) warm terrestrial planets around red dwarfs are 50 to 100 times easier to detect than around Sun-like stars. One of the less-obvious highlights of 2016 was that dedicated star-by-star experiments enabled by flexible telescope access can be key to unveil the very nearby population of small exoplanets amenable for characterization with new instrumentation. I will present the discovery of the nearby planet Proxima b as well as extended follow-up efforts to characterise the planetary population of our neighbourhood stars.
Biography: Professor Hugh Jones is Director of Research for the University's Science and Technology Research Institute,   He maintains an active personal research profile in the Centre for Astrophysics Research in the field of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets. After a 1988 BSc in Physics from the University of Leeds, an exchange scholarship MSc from the University of Alberta, work as a subeditor at Blackwell Scientific and setting up MadLab an educational electronics company he began his research career as a PhD student based at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh.  He then moved to the University of Tokyo as a European Commission research fellow to work with Professor Takashi Tsuji on the model atmospheres of cool dwarf stars. He moved to Liverpool John Moores University and in 2000 also a position at the University of Liverpool. He moved to Hertfordshire in 2004 and has extended his work into instrumentation with the development of the Bayfordbury Observatory, led the IoP accreditation of the University of Hertfordshire Physics degree and chaired the inaugural European Week of Astronomy and Space Science.

Event Date: 
Friday, 28 July, 2017 - 20:00
Location: 
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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