Renowned planet hunter and University of California, Berkeley Professor Geoffrey Marcy, whose research team has discovered more than 100 planets outside the solar system, will speak at the University of Colorado at Boulder on April 6.
Marcy will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Macky Auditorium in a free, public lecture titled "New Worlds, Yellowstone, and Life in the Universe." In his presentation, Marcy will address the possibility of habitable worlds beyond the solar system.
A public reception with Marcy will follow the talk at the CU Heritage Center, located on the third floor of Old Main adjacent to Macky. Metered parking for the event is available along University Avenue east of Broadway.
To date, more than 175 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars, and planetary scientists are on the verge of discovering smaller, rocky planets, according to Marcy, director of the Center for Integrative Planetary Science at UC-Berkeley. Marcy will discuss the ability of life to thrive in harsh, bizarre conditions and possible reasons why the search for intelligent life has come up empty so far.
Marcy and his research team are well known for a number of discoveries, including the first system of planets around a sun-like star, the first planet with a similar mass to Saturn and the first planet with a similar mass to Neptune. He is a professor of astronomy at Berkeley and an adjunct professor of physics and astronomy at San Francisco State University.
Marcy's planetary discoveries have made him a high-profile media figure. He has appeared on ABC Nightline with Ted Koppel, the NBC Today Show, the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, PBS Television and the Late Show with David Letterman. He was named Discover Magazine's Space Scientist of the Year in 2005 and his work has been featured in such magazines as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic and Scientific American.
Marcy received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and received his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1982. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002. He has received a number of academic awards, including the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 2003 and the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.
The Gamow Memorial Lecture Series began in 1971 and honors the late CU-Boulder physics professor who was pivotal in developing the big-bang theory of the creation of the universe. Gamow also was recognized for his many books popularizing science for non-scientific audiences.
For more information about the George Gamow Memorial Lecture Series, call Nancy Lee Miller at (303) 492-2722 or visit the Web site: www.colorado.edu/physics/Web/Gamow/lecture_2006.htm
For more information on Marcy, visit the web site: exoplanets.org/ .