Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



Public Lecture on Thursday, February 11

February 5, 2010

EarthOn Thursday, February 11, the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) invites all inquisitive adults to join us for “Finding and Making Habitable Planets,” a presentation by Dr. James Kasting.

More than 400 planets have been discovered orbiting nearby stars outside our solar system. While none of these planets are thought to resemble Earth, astronomers hope to identify Earth-like planets within the habitable zones of nearby stars within the next two decades. What makes a planet potentially habitable? How did it evolve to become this way? And finally, what signatures of life are astronomers searching for and how do they identify these signatures? Kasting explores these questions as he continues LPI’s speaker series, “The Search for Meaning, for Planets, for Life.”

Kasting is a Distinguished Professor in the Geosciences Department of The Pennsylvania State University. Kasting’s research focuses on habitable zones around stars and the search for extraterrestrial life, as well as the study of the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere and climate. He has been a member of numerous committees and advisory groups, including the NASA Solar System Exploration Subcommittee, the NRC Committee on the Origin and Evolution of Life, and the NASA/NSF ExoPlanet Task Force.

This free presentation begins at 7:30 p.m., and will be followed by a light reception and an opportunity to meet Dr. Kasting. No reservation is necessary, and all interested adults are welcome. LPI is located in the USRA building at 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston TX 77058; the entrance is located on Middlebrook Drive. For questions, contact Andrew Shaner at 281-486-2163 ([email protected]).

For more information or to download a flyer, visit

Cosmic Explorations:  A Speaker Series

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February 11, 2010