Café Scientifique in search of new planets with astronomer Dr Grant Christie

19 November 2014

November's Tauranga's Café Scientifique will host Dr Grant Christie, astronomer at Auckland's Stardome Observatory and Planetarium. Dr Christie will provide an overview of new observational techniques that may allow the atmospheres of extra-solar planets to be studied, opening a pathway to the detection of life beyond the Earth. He will be noting both the surprises and the challenges of this rapidly developing field.

Dr Grant Christie is responsible for research at Stardome Observatory. Since 2004, Stardome has been part of an international collaboration of astronomers (MicroFUN) that detects extra-solar planets by gravitational lensing. These planets are not detectable by any other method and will soon allow planets as small as Mars to be detected.

Discussing science issues

Supported by the University of Waikato, Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The Café Scientifique series is organised by Julia and Warren Banks and supported by the University of Waikato. It aims to promote public engagement and make science accessible.

The next Café will take place on Monday 24 November, 6.30pm for 7pm start at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5 and refreshments are provided. For more information, visit: or email [email protected]

On Tuesday 25 November, Dr Christie will discuss comets and in particular the current Rosetta mission. Fergusson Park Observatory 7.30pm. Members and school students free, adults $5.

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