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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Brian

Exoplanets and Astronomy

Host Keerthi invites interstellar explorers and cosmic philosophers, to embark on a journey to the stars, a voyage that's equal parts scientific discovery and philosophical wonderment in today’s program. Keerthi discusses the mind-boggling realm of exoplanets and how they inspire the deepest of philosophical questions. She then interviews teen Nairi Davidian, who has been researching exoplanets and joins the show to explain her exciting findings.

Exoplanets have been found in a variety of creative ways, with each method being more effective in finding a certain type of planet. In terms of habitability, there are many factors that can influence a planet’s potential to host life. There are four general requirements for life to thrive. Firstly, there must be a solvent, such as water. The “habitable zone” is defined as the span of distance from a planet to its particular star that allows liquid water to exist. For life to thrive, living conditions must be relatively stable. There must also be energy available for an organism to use. In addition to these requirements, there must be a presence of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, which compose most of the known biological molecules.

"Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.” - Socrates

BIO: Nairi Davidian

Growing up next to the bustling city of Boston, Nairi didn’t have much of a chance to observe the night sky with her naked eye – due to light pollution, that is. However, whenever she went on a family vacation to Cape Cod or Maine, she was hypnotized by what lurked above. Her interest in the cosmos continued to grow by watching shows such as How the Universe Works, which introduced her to the most fascinating phenomena such as black holes and dark matter. Despite always having a passion for astronomy, she didn’t have much particular interest in exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system. Upon realizing the possibilities that these ubiquitous worlds hold in terms of potential habitability and extraterrestrial life, she knew she had to investigate the topic further. Instagram:spillthe_exo_tea


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