Newswise — On Monday, April 19, 2021, journalists are invited to attend a virtual workshop for science writers on characterizing planets orbiting other stars. The workshop is hosted by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland.

The field of exoplanet research has grown considerably with more than 4,000 exoplanets detected to date. The characterization of exoplanets has become increasingly important to understanding their diversity, and to answering fundamental astrophysical questions about their composition, structure, formation, evolution, and potential for habitability. Astronomers are now facing a new paradigm in exoplanet science where they need to combine observational methods to understand the true nature of the remarkable diversity of planets around other stars. 

This writers' workshop is being held in conjunction with the virtual scientific conference: Towards the Comprehensive Characterization of Exoplanets: Science at the Interface of Multiple Measurement Techniques hosted by STScI. A livestream of the entire conference, from April 19 to 23 will be available on Facebook at:

The writers’ workshop will feature the following speakers and topics:

* Dr. Jessie Christiansen (Caltech/IPAC-NASA Exoplanet Science Institute)
Exoplanet demographics

* Dr. Clara Sousa-Silva (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Chaacterizing exoplanet atmospheres

* Dr. Tim Lichtenberg (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
Molten exoplanets as a window into the earliest Earth

* Dr. Isabel Rebollido (Space Telescope Science Institute)
The hunt for exocomets and other minor bodies in exoplanetary systems

The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Speaker presentation slides will be available for download following the event.

Speaker bios and additional information will be added to the event’s webpage at

Workshop Date: Monday, April 19, 2021
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Virtual, link will be provided to registered attendees

We request that journalists interested in attending register in advance by contacting Cheryl Gundy ([email protected]) no later than Friday, April 9.

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The Space Telescope Science Institute is expanding the frontiers of space astronomy by hosting the science operations center of the Hubble Space Telescope, the science and operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, and the science operations center for the future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. STScI also houses the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) which is a NASA-funded project to support and provide to the astronomical community a variety of astronomical data archives, and is the data repository for the Hubble, Webb, Kepler, K2, TESS missions and more.