Community Forum in Chemistry, Fall 2016


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Windward Community College
45-720 Kea'ahala Road
Kane'ohe, Hawai‘i 96744

This project is coordinated by Leticia U. Colmenares Ph.D. Associate Professor in Chemistry - 236-9120. The forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.

Picture of Nader HaghighipourKepler’s Discovery of New Habitable Worlds

by Nader Haghighipour, PhD

1:00-2:00 pm, Thursday, September 22, 2016
Hale ‘Imiloa 111 (view map of campus)

View the flier (pdf)

The NASA Kepler mission has discovered thousands of new planetary candidates, many of which have been confirmed through follow-up observations. A primary goal of the mission is to determine the occurrence rate of terrestrial-size planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars (commonly referred to as η-Earth). The process of determining η-Earth requires a reliable list of HZ candidates whose properties have been adequately vetted to produce robust planetary and stellar properties. In this talk the most recent catalog of HZ exoplanet candidates from the entire Kepler data will be presented. This catalog contains 104 candidates within the optimistic HZ and 20 candidates with radii less than two Earth-radii (a requirement for rocky planets) within the conservative HZ. The implications of these findings for the value of η-Earth and the models of the formation of habitable planets will be discussed.

Nader Haghighipour obtained his PhD degree in planetary dynamics from University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999. After a few postdoc positions at the University of California-Irvine, Northwestern University and the Carnegie Institute of Washington, he joined the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), University of Hawaii-Manoa in 2004, where he is now a professor of Astronomy. His field of research is planetary dynamics and planet formation with emphasis on the detection, formation, and characterization of habitable planets both in our solar system and extrasolar planets. He is currently a member of the Kepler and TESS missions science team, and the president of the division of planetary sciences and astrobiology of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

This forum is co-sponsored by Windward Community College and the American Chemical Society-Hawaii Section.


What is the Community Forum in Chemistry?  

• Its goal is to increase learning in chemistry for all students (and community members).

• A practicing professional discusses a chemistry related topic that is relevant to everyday lives.

• During the forum audience participate by asking questions, sharing views and comments.

• Serves as a bridge between classroom and real-world applications.

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Co-sponsored by the American Chemical Society
- Hawaii Section