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Extraterrestrial Life Among Topics of 'Other Stars, Other Planets' Talk


An accomplished astronomy expert will talk about the possibility of extraterrestrial life in his "Other Stars, Other Planets" presentation at Eastern Illinois University on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Jim Kaler, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois, will speak at 7 p.m. in the EIU Physical Science Building's Phipps Lecture Hall. Admission is free, and the public is invited.

In his presentation, Kaler will explore the more than 400 “extra-solar planets” that have been found, as well as extra-solar planetary systems, some of which are beginning to look a lot like our own. To answer the question of whether there is life on those planets, Kaler will "let the stars themselves tell the story."

Kaler has held Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, received medals for his work from the University of Liège in Belgium and the University of Mexico, given the Armand Spitz Lecture to the Great Lakes Planetarium Association and the Margaret Noble Address to the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society, and received the 2003 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement.

He has written for a variety of magazines, was a consultant for Time-Life Books on their "Voyage Through the Universe" series, and has long appeared on Illinois television and radio. His many books include "Stars and their Spectra," "The Ever-Changing Sky," "Extreme Stars," "Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars," "Stars and Cosmic Clouds," "The Little Book of Stars," "The Greatest Hundred Stars" and "Heaven's Touch." He has also produced two textbooks and three audio courses.

Kaler is currently past president of the board of directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and is a past president of the board of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Asteroid "1998 JK" was named "17853 Kaler" in honor of his outreach activities, and in 2008, he received the American Astronomical Society's Education Prize.

Kaler's presentation is part of EIU's yearlong celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, a worldwide commemoration of many historic astronomical achievements, including the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first look through a telescope and the 40th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon.

All of EIU's IYA events are sponsored by the EIU College of Sciences and the EIU Department of Physics.
For more information, please contact Jim Conwell, professor of physics at EIU, at or 217-581-6343.



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Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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