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Lecture | This Week's Discoveries

Finding planets outside our solar system with radio astronomy

Date
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Time
Location
Zoom

Sliding down the mass ladder: First radio discovery of a Jupiter-mass object outside the Solar System

One key question that astronomy is attempting to answer is whether there are habitable planets around stars other than our Sun. While we have entered an era where identifying nearby exoplanets has become standard, discerning whether the environmental conditions are suitable for life has proved far more elusive. The detection of radio emission from an exoplanet provides a direct probe of the planet's magnetic field - information crucial for assessing the potential habitability of the planet. However, it is only with the recent development of sophisticated megahertz-frequency sensitive telescopes, such as the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), that a search for the faint radio exoplanetary emission is now possible. In this talk, I will outline the radio discovery of a Jupiter-mass object outside our Solar System.

Bio

Joe Callingham is an Australian astrophysicist based at Leiden University, where he is a Veni Fellow. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney and was the de Bruyn Fellow at ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. He specialises in studying radio stars, exoplanets, and the evolution of galaxies. He also enjoys surfing, independent cinema, running, reading, and anything to do with science-fiction. 

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