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Departmental Colloquium

Second chance planets  
Guest Speaker
Prof. Alex Wolszczan  
Guest Affiliation
Penn State University, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds  
Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm  
Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)  

New planets can be created in collisions following the dynamical evolution of original planetary systems circling evolving giant stars. They can also arise from supernova fallback disks around newborn neutron stars and debris disks surrounding white dwarfs. These seemingly far-fetched ideas have been confirmed through discoveries of planets around pulsars, sub-dwarfs, and, possibly, around white dwarf stars, all of which demonstrates the spectacular robustness of the planet formation process. Furthermore, life itself may get a new chance, when habitable zones around evolving giants encompass faraway worlds like Europa and Titan in the solar system. In this talk, I will review the development of this particular field in the exoplanet research and present the Penn State-Torun Centre for Astronomy search for planets around GK-giants with the 9.2-m Hobby-Eberly Telescope.