November 30, 2023

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Pioneer Astrophysicist to Deliver USM’s Rayborn Lecture on April 5

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03/21/2022 – 11:17am | By: Ivonne Kawas

Dr. Sara SeagerDr. Sara Seager, a pioneer in the huge planet of exoplanets, will be the featured keynote
speaker for the Fifth Annual Grayson H. and Jane Dishong Rayborn Lecture Series in
Physics, established for April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at The University of Southern Mississippi’s
(USM) Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg Campus.

Dr. Seager is an astrophysicist and a professor of physics and planetary science at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is recognized for her revolutionary investigate
on exoplanets and their atmospheres.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Seager join us for this year’s Rayborn Lecture. She has
been a leader in the detection and examine of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other
than our sunlight. She is not only an remarkable scientist, but she also has an excellent
standing as a public lecturer and writer. This is heading to be a intriguing converse,”
said Dr. Chris Winstead, Dean of USM’s University of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Seager’s assumed-provoking keynote presentation titled, “Exoplanets and the Look for
for Lifestyle Beyond Earth,” will demonstrate, in layman’s conditions, the fascinating subject of exoplanet
investigate and her quest for the holy grail to discover and detect an Earth-variety world
and signs of life on them. She will also share the newest innovations in this innovative

For thousands of decades, inspired by the star-filled dark night sky, people have wondered
what lies beyond Earth. Today, the lookup for indications of lifestyle is a crucial factor in modern day-day
planetary exploration. Astronomers have identified 1000’s of planets that orbit close by
stars, known as “exoplanets.” The recently released James Webb Room telescope will permit
them to research gases in rocky exoplanet atmospheres, which include gases that may well be
attributed to everyday living.

Among many accolades for her investigation, Dr. Seager was awarded a MacArthur “Genius”
Grant and has Asteroid 9729 named in her honor. She is the creator of The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir.

The Rayborn Lecture gives learners, school, personnel and the local community the chance
to be uncovered to the world’s major experts and their breakthrough study.

“As usually, we are for good grateful to Dr. Grayson H. and Jane Dishong Rayborn for
their donation that allows us to keep on to host popular physicists as they existing
their groundbreaking operate to the community,” mentioned Dr. Winstead.

“As college students witness authentic-lifetime achievements tales in science, this exposure to top
thinkers can broaden their views and serve as inspiration for them to explore
the options within just their fields.”

About the Sequence

In 2015, as a result of a generous donation to The College of Southern Mississippi Foundation,
Dr. and Mrs. Grayson H. Rayborn proven the Grayson H. and Jane Dishong Rayborn
Lecture Sequence in Physics and Astronomy. In 1970, Dr. Rayborn joined the USM college
and served right until his retirement in a distinguished job in teaching, exploration, services,
and administration. In the course of his vocation, Dr. Rayborn served as chair of the Office
of Physics and Astronomy, affiliate dean of the Higher education of Science and Technological know-how,
and director of the School of Mathematical Sciences, as nicely as professor of physics
and astronomy. Upon retirement, in recognition of his distinguished support to the
College, Dr. Rayborn was awarded the title of professor emeritus of physics and

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