Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The second day at NAM 2005

We started the day with a plenary talk from Keith Horne discussing extra-solar planets and the three methods for discovery which are the Doppler wobble, transit lightcurves and micro-lensing.

The Doppler wobble method suggests that >6% of Sun-like planets host a (usually hot) Jupiter, usually with much more eccentric orbits than the Solar planets, however we don't yet know enough to tell whether this means that Solar system is unusal.

Keith talking about extra-solar planets

The second plenary talk of the day was given by Simon Conway Morris on the possibility of life in the Universe and evolutionary convergence. A bit off the wall for a NAM as he's a biologist, and has a very different approach to things than your average astronomer, but interesting stuff.

However I've now got a series of meetings scheduled for the rest of the day, this is the other side to NAM since it's one of the few times that the bulk of the UK's astronomical community is in the same place, so I doubt I'll get to go to any more talks...

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