NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.This artist’s concept allows us to imagine what it would be like to stand on the surface of the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f, located in the TRAPPIST-1 system in the constellation
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Breakthrough Initiatives is holding its second annual scientific conference on April 20-21 at Stanford University.

The event is set to bring together leading astronomers, engineers, astrobiologists and astrophysicists to advance discussion surrounding recent discoveries of potentially habitable planets in nearby star systems.

Novel methods of exploration

Credit: Breakthrough Initiatives

The two days of discussions will focus on newly discovered Earth-like “exoplanets” in the Alpha Centauri and TRAPPIST-1 planetary systems, and new evidence that these planets could be habitable, as well as their potential as targets for novel methods of space exploration.

“The Breakthrough Discuss conference brings together many of the leading minds to advance the conversation on the potential for life on other worlds and to interrogate the conflicting theories and hypotheses prompted by this new data,” explains S. Pete Worden, Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives in a press statement.

Credit: Breakthrough Initiative



Practical interstellar probe

The two-day event will feature three sessions of 19 presentations and 15 panelists.



— Recent observations of nearby planets, including Proxima b, and new techniques for observing them.

— The possibility of intelligent life in Earth’s cosmic neighborhood, and recent attempts to search for it with Breakthrough Listen.

— The third session will assess the significance of the newly-discovered exoplanets for the long-term Breakthrough Starshot endeavor, a program spearheaded by Yuri Milner to develop a practical interstellar space probe.

Join live

The conference on April 20-21 will be broadcast on Facebook Live at:

A detailed schedule can be found at:

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