Pioneer in exoplanet analysis helped rework the burgeoning discipline into one of many fastest-growing and most enjoyable in area science.
MIT’s Class of 1941 Professor of Planetary Sciences Sara Seager has been named an officer of the Order of Canada, one of many nation’s highest civilian honors. Introduced by the governor basic of Canada final month, the nomination acknowledges Seager “for her multidisciplinary analysis that has contributed to remodeling the examine of extrasolar planets right into a full-fledged planetary science.”
Raised in Ontario, Canada, Seager holds twin U.S. and Canadian citizenship, in addition to tutorial appointments in MIT’s departments of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Physics; and Aeronautics and Astronautics. She joins 114 new appointees to the Order of Canada, which embody eight companions, 21 officers, one honorary member, and 84 members.
As a planetary scientist and astrophysicist, Seager is on the forefront of exoplanet analysis. When Seager started her graduate research at Harvard College within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, extrasolar planetary analysis was an rising discipline, largely primarily based on idea. Nonetheless, her cutting-edge work on planetary atmospheres, planetary interiors, and exoplanet transits led to quite a few firsts for the little-known discipline and helped to launch it into existence. Her present analysis makes use of theoretical fashions to look at, intimately, exoplanet atmospheres, their inside construction and composition, potential liveable zones, and gaseous signatures indicating life.
Her work on exoplanets, and motivation to seek out the primary Earth-like world, has led her to take main roles in quite a few area science missions, together with the MIT-led NASA mission Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite tv for pc (TESS), which launched in April 2018, and the Starshade Rendezvous Mission, a space-based mission idea beneath expertise improvement for direct imaging discovery and characterization of Earth analogs.
Seager’s work has earned her intensive acclaim, together with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize within the Bodily Sciences, and election to the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Nationwide Academy of Sciences.
She joins greater than 7,000 individuals, from throughout all sectors of Canadian society, who’ve obtained appointments to the Order of Canada, recognizing “excellent achievement, dedication to the group and repair to the nation.” The incoming class of honorees might be invited to simply accept the order’s iconic snowflake insignia at a ceremony to be held sooner or later.