Program Overview

This program will highlight the research and accomplishments of Conny Aerts, a pioneer in Asteroseismology. Professor Aerts revolutionized the study of starquakes, bringing an entirely new way to learn about the stars. She will discuss how starquakes allow us to size, weigh, and age-date stars with unprecedented and impressive precision. Asteroseismology of host stars is the only way to determine the ages of exoplanets. Thus, asteroseismology and the search for habitable worlds outside our solar system, and perhaps even extraterrestrial life in the universe, go hand-in-hand.

Kavli Laureate Lecture - Starquakes, exoplanets, and extraterrestrial life - Dr. Conny Aerts


Conny Aerts Headshot

Speaker Bio

Dr. Conny Aerts is a professor in astrophysics at the University of Leuven's Institute of Astronomy. She has carried out a wide range of research on the structure and evolution of stars, especially the heaviest and brightest ones, including studies of stellar rotation, convection, and chemical-element transport. She has developed mathematical methods to identify non-radial stellar oscillations in spectroscopic data, and used machine-learning techniques to classify many kinds of variable stars using observations from the CoRoT, Kepler, and TESS space missions. Among these objects she has detected numerous so-called gravity-mode pulsators. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Antwerp University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Leuven.

Learn More about Dr. Conny Aerts open_in_new
Frank Sesno headshot


Dr. Aerts will share her science as part of a moderated discussion with Emmy winning journalist Frank Sesno, Director of Strategic Initiatives at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. 

Our Partners

This event is co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with The Kavli Foundation, the Royal Embassy of Norway, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.