23 December 2018
The Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SCASS) at the University of Sharjah held its monthly staff lecture coming under the title "Exoplanets – Sharjah Observatory" by Mr. Mohammed Talafha, Sharjah Observatory Research Assistant at SCASS. The lecture defined exoplanets, discussed the history and significance of their discoveries, an update on the current status of exoplanet discoveries and work. Various detection methods such as astrometry detecting minuscule movements, direct imaging, radial velocity by watching for a shift in the spectrum of the star, transit photometry through searching for shadows, and gravitational microlensing detecting light in gravity lens, amongst others were discussed. He also discussed ways for calculating exoplanet properties to explore the possibility of the planet supporting life, and characterization of exoplanets. The lecture also highlighted ongoing research on exoplanets at SCASS' Sharjah Observatory, which is one of the few and leading Centers in the region focusing on the topic of exoplanets.
Attending the lecture was a large number of the University's faculty and staff members and students as well as space and astronomy enthusiasts and the general public. The lecture highlighted the exceptional and leading work at SCASS on the topic of exoplanets and furthering our understanding of the possibility of life outside our planet Earth.