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Talk on detecting exoplanets

Talk on detecting exoplanets

Mercury will be seen very low in the WNW in the evening twilight late in March, with difficulty. Venus will be very low in the W in the evening twilight but will be lost after twilight in mid month. Mars is very low in the W in the evening twilight and sets after dusk. Jupiter rises after 9pm in the E  and transits high in the S near 3am. Saturn rises in the ESE after 3am and sets in the SSE near dawn.

On Friday March 10, Stanley Greenspoon will speak at the Sechelt Arts Centre beginning at 8pm. He is formerly the head of physics at Capilano University. Greenspoon will discuss and in some cases demonstrate the techniques used to detect exoplanets and measure their properties. The criteria for the presence of life on exoplanets will be discussed, as will the issues involved in our being able to gather data conclusively proving life’s existence. Greenspoon has had a very interesting career serving on the secretariat of the United Nations in New York City as science affairs officer.

On Sat. March 4, the moon occults Aldebaran south of graze line Vancouver-Fargo-Toronto-Rhode Island. The full moon on March 12 will be located on the  opposite side of the earth as the sun and its face will be fully illuminated. On March 20 the March Equinox occurs at 10.29 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. The March full moon is called the Maple Sugar Moon. Daylight saving time begins at 2am.

A question often asked is “what is the speed of light?” Light travels at a constant speed of 186,262 miles per second. Distances in space are measured in light years. One light year is equal to the distance light travels in a year, which is just under 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometres). Scientists believe that it is impossible to travel faster than light because any object travelling at the speed of light would have to achieve infinitive mass.

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