Sara Seager, astrophysicist and planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and contributing author of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, was interviewed in The New York Times Magazine of Dec. 7, 2016.
Dr. Seager’s work has taken her to seek exoplanets—planets that orbit stars outside our own solar system—and, more specifically, exoplanets that would share characteristics with Earth. A rocky planet that would be far enough from its star that its water would be liquid and life on it possible.
Her research allowed for the discovery of the first exoplanet atmosphere. Using light, she is able to identify the elements and gases that exist in these atmospheres. The ultimate goal, she says, is to determine whether we are alone in the universe.