Dr. Michael Reid is an Associate Professor of Astronomy in the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He earned his PhD from McMaster University and did post-doctoral work at the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto. His expertise is in making astronomy accessible to everyone, using non-technical language. He also works as the Public Outreach Coordinator for the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, where he organizes events and programs designed to share cutting-edge astronomical research with the public.
Presentation: The Search for Earth-like Planets
For thousands of years, people on Earth have wondered whether we are alone in the cosmos. Until very recently, we couldn’t even know whether there were other planets orbiting other stars. But the technological advancements of the last twenty years have transformed our understanding of our place in the universe. We now know of thousands of planets orbiting other stars. How similar are these planets to Earth? Do any of them actually host life forms of their own, and could they support life as we know it? And how soon will we know? In his presentation, Dr Reid will explore what we know about Earth-like planets – and what big mysteries remain.