University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Professor, Department of Astrophysical Sciences
Dr. Winn and his research group use optical and infrared telescopes to study systems of planets beyond our solar system, especially those in which the star and planet eclipse one another. His research goals are to explore the properties of planets around other stars, understand how planets form and evolve, and make progress on the age-old question of whether there are other planets capable of supporting life.
Join us for a reception prior to the talk at 3:45 in PHY 150.
The basic geometry of the Solar System - the shapes, spacings, and orientations of the planetary orbits - has long been a subject of fascination as well as inspiration for planet-formation theories. For exoplanetary systems, those same properties have only recently come into focus. Thanks to the Kepler mission, we now have hundreds of examples of stars with multiple planets.
I will share what we have learned about these: their orbits, arrangements, and mutual inclinations, including planetary systems about binary stars, i.e., those with two suns. I will then discuss how the recently launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the next-generation follow-up to Kepler, will answer key questions regarding the origin and evolution of solar systems like and unlike ours.