Agenda

Astroclub met Michaël Gillon: In search of habitable exoplanets with Belgian projects TRAPPIST and SPECULOOS

Datum: Vrijdag 27 september 2024, van 19u00 tot 23u00
Organisatie: https://www.mira.be/
Locatie: Volkssterrenwacht MIRA
Meer info: https://www.mira.be/activiteiten/2024/2024-09/michael-gillon-search-habitable-exoplanets-belgian-projects-trappist-and

One of the big questions for us, humanity, is if alien life exists elsewhere in the universe. So, if we want to discover alien life, the best place to look for it is on earth like planets located in what we call the habitable zone around cool stars.

In 1995, the first exoplanet discovered around a sun like star was 51 Pegasi b. Now, almost thirty years later, more than 5.500 exoplanets have been discovered. And a lot of them are planets of a size comparable to our own planet.

At the University of Liège, astrophysicist prof. Michaël Gillon is the creator of and driving force behind two very unique projects with the appealing names: TRAPPIST (since 2010) and SPECULOOS (since 2017). The aim is to find habitable earth like planets around red dwarf stars. With great success: the discovery of system TRAPPIST-1 with seven terrestrial planets, all located in the habitable zone around a red dwarf star, caused an enormous enthusiasm in the scientific world. This planetary system is also one of the research targets of the James Webb Space Telescope. Hoping to discover there, at a distance of about 40 lightyears, water worlds with atmospheres. And who knows… signs of alien life?

Waarnemen op Volkssterrenwacht MIRA
Waarnemen op Volkssterrenwacht MIRA