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Oort Lecture 2017: What wonderful worlds: A journey through our Solar System

  • Prof. Imke de Pater
Thursday 11 May 2017
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Groot Auditorium

The Jan Hendrik Oort Foundation and Leiden Observatory have the pleasure to invite you to attend the 2017 Oort Lecture.

This year Prof. Imke de Pater from the University of California in Berkeley will deliver the twenty-eight Oort Lecture.

The lecture will be given on Thursday 11 May, 2017, at 8:00 p.m., in the Groot Auditorium of Leiden University, Rapenburg 73 in Leiden. The title of the lecture is: “What wonderful worlds: A journey through our Solar System”

Free tickets can be ordered until 1 May  by telephone at 5833 or (preferably) by e-mail at vdveld@strw.leidenuniv.nl.

What wonderful worlds: A journey through our Solar System

Our solar system consists of a diverse and dynamic collection of bodies, ranging in size from tiny dust grains to giant planets. We do not know if our Solar System is unique amongst planetary system, but it is the only one where many bodies have become familiar to us as individual worlds, and as such may serve as templates to study exoplanets. In this talk we will explore the “zoology” of our Solar system, from giant planets down to tiny asteroids and comets. The information gained from these studies is key to piece together the story of the formation of our planets and their subsequent evolution. Particularly fascinating are our recent observations of Jupiter's satellite Io, revealing the largest volcanic eruptions ever seen in our solar system. As such, Io provides a window into what Earth may have looked like soon after its formation and its own intense volcanic activity.

Prof. Imke de Pater

Prof. Imke de Pater is a world’s leading expert in planetary sciences, using premier ground-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes at visible (HST), infrared (e.g., 10-m Keck) and radio (VLA, ALMA) wavelengths. She started her career at Leiden Observatory by observing and modelling Jupiter's radio (synchrotron) emissions, as observed with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT); she received her PhD cum laude for this work. As a postdoctoral Fellow in Tuscon (AZ) she did detailed investigations of all giant planets’ thermal (blackbody) radio emissions.

Over the past years, she exploited sophisticated adaptive optics techniques in the infrared range to obtain high angular resolution data of volcanic activity on Io, weather on Titan, planetary rings, and the giant planets; she observed with an airborne observatory, Sofia, and used the recently upgraded Very Large Array to map the atmospheres of the giant planets below their visible clouddeck. Imke is a Professor in the Departments of Astronomy, and Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California at Berkeley; she chaired the Astronomy Department from 2010-2015. She wrote two books together with Jack Lissauer: "Planetary Sciences" (2001) and "Fundamental Planetary Science: Physics, Chemistry and Habitability" (2013). Both books were published with Cambridge University Press. She received a number of prestigious awards during her career, amongst which are the 2007 AAS Chambliss Award for Writing for “Planetary Sciences”, and the URSI (International Radio Science Union) John Howard Dellinger Gold Medal, and is a member of many (inter)national committees.

The Oort Lecture

The Oort Lecture is an annual event, in memory of the famous Dutch astronomer, organized by the Jan Hendrik Oort Foundation and Leiden Observatory. The lecture covers an astronomical subject of current interest and is intended for a mixed audience with a general interest in astronomy.

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