In February 2017, NASA reported the detection of seven, Earth-sized planets orbiting a nearby star. Each planet, according to initial data, is said to be in the temperate zone. Dr. Williams will discuss the state of exoplanet detection and highlight the most tantalizing discoveries to date, including the seven new worlds orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST1.
Dr. Williams currently serves as Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He obtained his Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from The Pennsylvania State University after completing his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Williams’s research focuses on the climate and dynamics of Earth-like planets and moons, both in the Solar System and beyond. A Harlow Shapley lecturer sponsored by the American Astronomical Society, Dr. Williams has published numerous works, including most recently: “Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons,” “Capture of Terrestrial-sized Moons by Gas Giant Planets,” and “Searching for Water Earths in the Near Infrared.”