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Maui Public Talk about the Interior of Stars and Extrasolar Planets
The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy will hold a UH/IfA Maui Maikalani Community Lecture, the third in a series of free monthly public talks on Maui, on Friday, December 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its new building, Maikalani, in Pukalani. Dr. Marcelo Emilio's topic will be "The Search for Extrasolar Planets and Stellar Seismology with the COROT Satellite."
COROT (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits), a European/Brazilian satellite launched on December 27, 2006, will probe the inner structure of the stars using a method called stellar seismology, which measures vibrations on the surface of a star to probe its interior in a manner similar to the way seismologists use earthquakes to probe the interior of Earth. It will also detect many planets orbiting the stars by observing the periodic microeclipses that occur when the planets pass in front of their star. Because of its ability to measure light precisely and because it can observe the stars continuously for five months, the COROT experiment should be able to discover Earth-like planets. Most extrasolar planets discovered so far are giant gas planets that are similar to Jupiter.
Dr. Marcelo Emilio received doctorate in astronomy from São Paulo University (Brazil) in 2001. He is a professor at the State University of Ponta Grossa (Brazil) and a visiting scientist at Maikalani. His area of specialization is solar physics, and he also has a special interest in astronomy education.
The address of Maikalani, also known as the Advanced Technology Research Center, is 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani, above Kamehameha Schools in the Kulamalu Town Center (the first light after King Kekaulike High School, just off Kula Highway). For a map, go to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/maps/Maui-ATRC.html.
"Maikalani" literally means "from the heavens" but also has the cultural meaning "things we gain from the cosmos."
For more information about COROT: http://smsc.cnes.fr/COROT/
Figure 1: Artist's view of the COROT spacecraft. © CNES 2006, Illustration D. Ducros.
Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea.
Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaii is the state's sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, and around the world.