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Lecture: To explore strange new worlds

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Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017

Location: , Washington, DC US,

The public is invited to a free talk called "To explore strange new worlds…: NASA's Small Steps and Giant Leaps in Understanding Worlds Beyond," with Dr. Padi Boyd in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.

The field of exoplanets is growing explosively, with 3,510 confirmed as of Sept. 15. Dr. Padi Boyd, chief of the Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, will talk about exoplanets and humanity's rapidly evolving view of our place in the universe.

Boyd is also the director of the Guest Investigator Program for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a NASA Explorer mission now under construction led by George Ricker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life. The mission will find exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits. TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the Sun to search for transiting exoplanets. The mission is scheduled to launch no later than June 2018.

"In just one generation we've gone from knowing of only the planets in our own solar system to discovering thousands of other planetary systems, and understanding that planets around other stars are common," said Boyd. "NASA missions continue to make exciting contributions to the field of exoplanets, and one day soon we may be able to stand outside on a calm, cloudless night, point to a star, and say 'that one there has a planet not too different from Earth.'"

The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world. The Science, Technology and Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics.

The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world and holds nearly 151.8 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The library serves Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website.

For inquiries about this or upcoming talks at the Library of Congress, the public can contact the library's Science, Technology and Business Division at 202-707-5664. ADA accommodations should be requested five business days in advance at 202-707-6382 (voice/tty) or ada@loc.gov.

The lecture will be later broadcast on the library's webcast page and YouTube channel "Topics in Science" playlist.

For more information contact Stephanie Marcus at 202-707-1212 or smar@loc.gov or visit: http://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/

For directions, visit: http://www.loc.gov/visit/maps-and-floor-plans/

For more information about TESS, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/tess-transiting-exoplanet-survey-satellite

For more information about Dr. Boyd, visit: https://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/patricia.t.boyd

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