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"Science with a Schmear" Series presents Professor Sara Seager (MIT): "Planetary Atmospheres and the Search for Signs of Life Beyond Earth"

Sunday, December 17, 2023 5 Tevet 5784

9:00 AM - 11:00 AMSocial Hall and via Zoom

We are delighted to welcome Professor Sara Seager as our second speaker in our Science with a Schmear Series, sponsored by Scientists in Synagogues.


Abstract: "Planetary Atmospheres and the Search for Signs of Life Beyond Earth" with Professor Sara Seager

For thousands of years, inspired by the star-filled dark night sky, people have wondered what lies beyond Earth. Today, the search for signs of life is a key motivator in modern-day planetary exploration. The newly operational James Webb Space Telescope will enable us to study gases in rocky exoplanet (planets outside our solar system) atmospheres, possibly including “biosignature” gases that might be attributed to life.  New exoplanet atmosphere discoveries as well as intriguing evidence for Venus as a potentially habitable planet give us hope towards making progress on answering the ancient questions about the possibility of life beyond Earth..

Schedule for the morning

Free Breakfast:  9:00 AM
Program/Speaker: approximately 9:30 AM.
Zoom Session:  9:30 AM

Please register whether you plan to attend in person or by Zoom

Sign up below.For planning purposes, we ask that anyone planning to attend register in advance. However, we will have extra breakfast items, so join, anyway, if you decide at the last minute. The program will be held both in person (with free breakfast!) and via Zoom (no breakfast!).

About Professor Seager 

Professor Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and a Professor of Physics, Professor of Planetary Science, and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she holds the Class of 1941 Professor Chair. Her research has introduced many foundational ideas to the field of exoplanets and is now focused on search for the first Earth-like exoplanets and the search for signs of life beyond Earth. She was the Deputy Science Director of the MIT-led NASA Explorer-class mission TESS; PI of the JPL-MIT CubeSat ASTERIA; and a lead of the Starshade mission concepts. She now focuses on missions to Venus. Among other accolades, Professor Seager’s research earned her a MacArthur Fellowship, membership in the US National Academy of Sciences, an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada (one of Canada’s highest civilian honors), and she has Asteroid 9729 named in her honor. Professor Seager is the author of, “The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir”.

Read more about Professor Seager at her website:


Scientists in Synagogues Speaker Series

CBE is one of fifteen synagogues nationwide to receive a grant from Scientists in Synagogues for a science-oriented speaker series.  Find out more about this grant and about Scientists in Synagogues.


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