Broadcast 2172 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Professor Sara Seager. Topics: Exoplanets, searching techniques, ET life & much more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See We welcomed Professor Sara Seager of MIT to the program to discuss exoplanets and the science behind finding them along with the search for life and Earth-like planets. For more information, visit her website, In addition, Professor Seager has a free ebook available for download on her website, "Is There Life Out There." You can download this ebook at During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Professor Seager started with a working definition for exoplanets and the techniques used to find exoplanets. We also talked about planet habitability, the habitable zone, Kepler planets, ground based telescopes, direct imaging, the Gemini Planet Imager, and the potential involvement of amateurs & their telescopes in the search for exoplanets. Many listener questions came in by email. One focused on SETI which led to an interesting discussion with our guest. Professor Seager provided us with comparison statistics for various planets and their size and characteristics, and we talked more about the best exoplanet finding methods. Our guest told us about "ExoplanetSat," a 3U CubeSat capable of high precision pointing with a goal of detecting small transiting exoplanets orbiting bright, sun-like stars. We then discussed CubeSat photography & cameras and more about the need for precision pointing. Professor Seager received several questions about budget and NASA issues, then Doug called in with excellent questions about exoplanets that you do not want to miss. In the second segment, we talked about Professor Seager's ebook on her website, "Is There Life Out There," plus our guest responded to an email question from Nathan about the "Rare Earth" hypothesis. We then talked about the KST problems and the new mission for the space telescope referred to as K2. John form Ft. Worth called to ask about conceptual and technological advancement & breakthroughs in the field. I asked our guest what she thought the field might look like in ten years plus I asked her why rocky planets were important for finding exoplanets. Charles Pooley called to ask about photometry, LEO, & related issues. As our program was ending, I asked Professor Seager to share with us some of her media experience and thoughts about the quality of science reporting. Please post comments/questions on TSS blog. I will be happy to pass on your emails to her if you send them to me.



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24 Jan 2014 Dr. Sara Seager
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