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Ismaili Centre, Toronto
49 Wynford Drive Toronto M3C 1K1 Canada

An engaging presentation by former Kepler Mission Scientist, Dr. Natalie Batalha on the search for Evidence of life beyond our solar system.

In this presentation, Dr. Batalha explained the techniques and methods used to detect exo-planets through remote-sensing telescopes such as Kepler and how NASA’s Kepler telescope has been scanning hundreds of thousands of stars and has to-date discovered over 2,500 alien worlds. The primary objective of the Kepler mission is to search for Earth-like planets in or near the habitable zone (often called “Goldilocks planets”). She also discussed the range of size of the detected planets and their orbits and related it to the planets in our solar system. Dr. Batalha presented these complex topics in a non-technical way and was thus able to capture the interest of the attendees. She also talked about the failure of the spacecraft’s gyroscopes, leading to the end of the Kepler mission. In the talk Dr. Batalha also shared her own journey to becoming NASA’s lead astrophysicist.

Attendees were given an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session following the presentation, which led to many intriguing questions. The questions included topics related to space exploration, the existence of life beyond Earth, and the future of space exploration. Following the event, Dr. Batalha connected with the attendees and answered their questions.