Café des Sciences Atlanta with Nicole Cabrera - "Young Solar Systems in our own backyard"

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- Where: Alliance Française d’Atlanta (Colony Square, Plaza level, 1197 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta GA 30361)
- When: February 19 from 6-7:30 pm
- Presentation in English
- Registration: http://www.meetup.com/AtlantaScienceTavern/events/162856342/

This European Science Café took place on February 19 at the Alliance Française d’Atlanta with Nicole Cabrera, who gave a public lecture on the research of planets outside our solar system entitled: "Young Solar Systems in our own backyard"

About the presentation

Although astronomers have been discovering exoplanets since the 1990’s, only recently have we found a planetary system that resembles our own. While our Solar System is structured with small, rocky planets close to the Sun and gas giants much farther away, most exoplanetary systems that we’ve found contain Hot Jupiters, which are gas giants that orbit very close to their star.

How do we explain this strange phenomenon, when our own Solar System gives us no clues? Did the Hot Jupiters form in-situ, or did they migrate from farther out in the system? Why is our Solar System so different and why did it take us so long to find our "twin?" In this talk we will address the challenges of explaining Hot Jupiters and a new method that could help us understand their origins as well as the formation timescales for giant planets.

About the guest speaker

Nicole Cabrera was born in Santiago, Chile and grew up in Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Georgia Tech after completing two NSF Astronomy internships in Hawaii and New Mexico. Now an astronomy PhD student at Georgia State University, Nicole spends part of her time collaborating with the Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics of Grenoble (IPAG) at Joseph Fourier University in France.

Nicole is also a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Chateaubriand Fellowship, which allow her to continue her international research. She is an avid dancer of salsa and swing, and enjoys baking and traveling on the weekends.