Westminster College Assistant Professor to Discuss Exoplanets at Faires Faculty Forum

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Thomas Oberst, Westminster assistant professor of physics and director of the Westminster Planetarium, will present "Searching for Exoplanets" at the Faires Faculty Forum Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 11:40 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater of the McKelvey Campus Center.

An exoplanet is a planet that orbits other stars and is currently one of the hottest topics in astronomy. In the past few years, hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered, many of them drastically different from the planets of our own solar system. These discoveries are reshaping our understanding of how planets form and evolve. Oberst will talk specifically about the "transit" method of observing exoplanets, the known exoplanets he and his students have recently detected from the Westminster College observatory, and his plans to hunt for new exoplanets.

Oberst, who has been with Westminster since 2008, earned an undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and master's and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

The Faculty Forum was established in 1990 by Dr. Barbara Faires, Westminster professor of mathematics emerita, during her term as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs.  Faculty members from all disciplines volunteer to present lectures on their current research, artistic productions, and scholarship of teaching and learning.  Each forum presents new ideas with innovative lecture techniques.

Contact Oberst at (724) 946-7204 or email for additional information on exoplanets.

Contact Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, faculty development officer, at (724) 946-7189 for more information on the Faires Faculty Forum or click here.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Click image to enlarge.

Dr. Thomas Oberst, assistant professor of physics and director of Planetarium


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