Measuring the Speed of Stars More Precisely Than Your Car’s Speedometer


Open to Public

Type: Special Event

Held on: Jun 05, 2020 (Fri) at 07:00 PM to Jun 05, 2020 (Fri) at 09:00 PM

Online Location:

Speaker: Ryan Rubenzahl


Event Coordinator: John McLaren

The “doppler method” or “wobble method” of detecting planets orbiting other stars, requires precise measurements of the speeds of those distant stars. If we can see a star oscillating towards and away from us, we can infer that an unseen planet is tugging on its parent star as it orbits. We will learn just how hard it is to precisely measure the speeds of stars to the precision of 9 cm/s (0.2 mph!) necessary for finding these Earth-like planets. Next-generation instruments capable of these discoveries may finally be able to answer the question of how common planets like Earth really are in the galaxy.

The lecture will be 30 minutes, followed by a 90-minute Q&A Panel consisting of experts in the department on a variety of astronomy and astrophysical topics. 

There are no notes for this event.