Dr Barker to speak at Otley's Science Café - 17 March
The first Science Café of 2023 takes place at Otley Courthouse on Friday (17 March).
The event will see three speakers given a quarter of an hour to talk and then the audience takes over to ask questions.
This month's speakers include Dr Adrian Barker, (School of Mathematics) on ‘Tidal forces on alien worlds’.
Dr Barker said: "Since the detection of the first planet around another Sun-like star was first announced in 1995, astronomers have detected more than 5000 extrasolar planets. These have a diverse range of properties, and many are observed to orbit their stars much more closely than Mercury orbits our Sun.
A particularly interesting class of planets are Hot Jupiters, which are as massive as Jupiter (the most massive planet in our solar system), but which orbit their stars very closely meaning they complete an orbit in less than 10 Earth days.
At such short distances, gravitational tidal forces can affect the orbit of the planet and the rotation of the star. In this talk I will present the methods astronomers use to detect extrasolar planets, review some of their fascinating properties, and finally describe the role of tidal forces in determining the ultimate fates of close-in planets."