Change Author / Owner : Exploring Space Lecture: Seeking Planets Like Earth
Dave W. Latham is a senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His recent research has focused on studies of transiting planets, both from the ground and with NASA's Kepler Mission. He is chief mission scientist for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, an Explorer Mission selected by NASA for a Phase A Concept Study. In this presentation, recorded at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC on June 5, 2012, Dr. Latham discusses how it is possible to determine the bulk density and observe the atmospheres of transitioning planets. He also poses the question: "can we find rocky worlds similar to the Earth, with the right temperature for water to be liquid on the surface?"