Institute for Pale Blue Dots Inauguration Scheduled for 9 May

©NASA

Earth as Seen By Voyager

Learn about planets beyond our solar system, far-flung missions and possible life in the cosmos at "(un)Discovered Worlds," a one-day Cornell University space sciences conference, May 9, to inaugurate the new Institute for Pale Blue Dots.

(http://instituteforpalebluedots.com). The conference, which will be held on the Cornell campus, is free and open to the public.

"Are we alone in the universe? For the first time in human history we can look at the stars and not just wonder, but find other worlds like ours," says Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell professor of astronomy and director of the Institute for Pale Blue Dots.

Founded in 2014, Cornell's Institute for Pale Blue Dots focuses on characterizing extrasolar planets and modeling habitable, rocky exoplanets. Embedded in a rich environment of interdisciplinary cooperation at Cornell, the institute brings together astrophysicists, engineers, geologists, biologists and Earth scientists to find the fingerprints of life in our cosmos.

The conference features international scientific pioneers who will describe their search for exoplanets and the latest results in pinpointing pale blue dots. Scheduled talks:

* "Pale Blue Dot and Beyond," Ann Druyan, writer/producer of the television series "Cosmos"
* "Holy Toledo! Is That a Planet," Dave Latham, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
* "A Graveyard-Resurrected Star and Its Second-Chance Planets," Alex Wolszczan, Penn State
* "Some Planets Like It Hot," Didier Queloz, University of Cambridge
* "Kepler: Pushing a Rock Uphill and Watching It Roll Down," Bill Borucki, NASA, principal investigator, Kepler mission
* "Planets for Goldilocks and Kepler's Discoveries," Natalie Batalha, NASA, Kepler mission scientist
* "Four Suspects to Search for Life in Our Solar System," Jonathan Lunine, Cornell professor of astronomy
* "Life in the Cosmos: What Does It Take?" Dimitar Sasselov, Harvard
* "From Extremophiles to 'Star Trek': The Use of Synthetic Biology in Astrobiology," Lynn Rothschild, NASA astrobiologist
* "Exploring Pale Blue Dots in the Night Sky," Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell

Reservations are required; RSVP by May 1 to instituteforpalebluedots@gmail.com

Video invitation from Lisa Kaltenegger:
http://www.cornell.edu/video/institute-for-pale-blue-dots-inauguration-may-9-2015

Contact:
Syl Kacapyr
+1 (607) 255-7701
vpk6@cornell.edu

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