College of Letters & Science | Department of Astronomy
Hometown: Riverside, CT
Professor Thomas Beatty grew up sailing off the coast of New England. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a Master’s in physics from MIT, and a PhD in astronomy from Ohio State University. Before moving to UW, he worked as an instrument scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, where he helped build one of Webb’s cameras and helped to operate it once Webb reached space. His research focuses on measuring the atmospheres of exoplanets – planets around other stars – to figure out what they are made out of and what their climates are like, to understand how planets form, and search for life elsewhere in the universe. He has also discovered nine new exoplanets, none of which he got to name after himself.
Prof. Beatty prefers in-person talks only.
How Can we Find Other Life in the Universe?
Are we alone in the universe? This question has been asked for over two thousand years, and we now possess the tools and techniques necessary to answer it. I will discuss what we want to look for on other planets to see if there is life and how we have started this search at UW using current and future telescopes.