Alien Earths: Searching for a Second Earth - Challenges, Opportunities and Adventures

Lise-Meitner-Lectures 2024

Mo, 23.09.2024 18:30  –   Mo, 23.09.2024 20:00
Prof. Dr. Lisa Kaltenegger, Cornell University
Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
Altenberger Str. 69, 4040 Linz, Österreich
Hörsaal 10
Event partner:
Österreichische Physikalische Gesellschaft
Contact person:
Maurizio Musso (ÖPG),
DPG Association:
Working Group on Equal Opportunities (AKC)  


The detection of exoplanets orbiting other stars has revolutionized our view of the cosmos. First results suggest that it is teeming with a fascinating

Links ein Ausschnitt eines erdähnlichen Planetens daneben das Porträt einer dunkelhaarigen Frau
Links ein Ausschnitt eines erdähnlichen Planetens daneben das Porträt einer dunkelhaarigen Frau
diversity of rocky planets, including those in the habitable zone. Even our closest star, Proxima Centauri, harbors a small planet in its habitable zone, Proxima b. With JWST and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes, we will be able to peer into the atmospheres of rocky planets and get a glimpse into other worlds.

Using our own planet and its wide range of biota as a Rosetta stone, we'll explore how we could detect habitability and signs of life on exoplanets over interstellar distances. The discussion on what makes a planet a habitat and how to detect signs of life is lively. This talk will show the latest results, the challenges of how to identify and characterize such habitable worlds, and how near-future telescopes will revolutionize the field. For the first time in human history, we have developed the technology to detect potential habitable worlds.


Prof. Lisa Kaltenegger is an award-winning astrophysicist and astrobiologist, Founding Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell, Professor in Astronomy at Cornell University, and author of Alien Earths: The Science for Planet Hunting in the Cosmos.

Lisa Kaltenegger is a pioneer and world-leading expert in modeling habitable worlds and their light fingerprint and has spent the last decade finding new ways to spot life in the cosmos, working with NASA and ESA from Austria to the Netherlands, Harvard, Germany, and now Cornell. Prof. Kaltenegger is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Among her international awards are the Invited Discourse lecture at the IAU General Assembly in Hawaii, the Heinz Meier Leibnitz Prize for Physics of Germany, the Doppler Prize for Innovation in Science of Austria, and the Barry-Jones Inauguration Award of the Royal Astrobiology Society and Open University in Britain. Her review 2017 on /How to Characterize Habitable Worlds and Signs of Life/ was selected by Annual Reviews as part a collection celebrating pioneering women scientists.