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Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures
The Diversity of Alien Worlds
Dr. Stephen Kane, San Francisco State University
Over the past few decades, hundreds of new planetary systems have been discovered, many of which show remarkable diversity compared with our own Solar System. A key step towards characterizing these planets is the determination of which planets occupy the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. In this talk, Dr. Kane describes the properties of the HZ, the dependence on the stellar properties, and the current state of exoplanet detections in the HZ. Along the way, he will attempt to dispel some common misconceptions regarding the Habitable Zone. Finally, he will present several case studies of HZ Kepler planets, including new results from Kepler and the planet orbiting Proxima Centauri.