Monday, December 3
Doors: 6:30 PM
Showtime: 7:00 PM
Auditorium TerraceSold Out
Planets orbit nearly every star in the galaxy, but how did astronomers make this groundbreaking discovery? Much of the credit goes to the Kepler Space Telescope, built by Ball Aerospace and launched in March 2009. To date, Kepler has enabled the detection of over 2,600 planets around other stars using the transit method, which looks for small changes in brightness as planets swing by their stars. Exoplanet astronomy presents unique challenges, but Kepler’s stringent design has made it a successful planet-hunting machine. Not only has Kepler exposed alien planets, but it has revealed solar systems quite like ours—and the discoveries are still rolling in.
Join Ball Aerospace engineer Dustin Putnam as he leads a discussion on this highly successful observatory and its surprising revelations.
Speaker: Dustin Putnam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. He has worked at Ball Aerospace in Boulder as a spacecraft attitude control and line-of-sight pointing engineer since 2000. Dustin started on the Kepler program in 2004, focusing first on the very tight-pointing stabilization needed to find exoplanets and later mission-enhancing improvements made throughout the telescope’s operational lifetime. Dustin is not only a Kepler expert, but also an amateur astronomer and science fiction enthusiast.
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