full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Sara Seager: The search for planets beyond our solar system

Unscramble the Blue Letters

So wokinrg on the models and tnihinkg about biochemistry, it's all well and good. But a really big claelhnge ahead of us is: how? How are we going to find these planets? There are actually many ways to find planets, several different ways. But the one that I'm most focused on is how can we open a gateway so that in the future, we can find hundreds of Earths. We have a real shot at finding signs of life. And actually, I just finished leading a two-year project in this very special phase of a concept we call the starshade. And the ssaradthe is a very specially shaped screen and the goal is to fly that starshade so it bkcols out the lihgt of a star so that the telescope can see the planets directly. Here, you can see myself and two team members holding up one small part of the starshade. It's sehpad like a giant flower, and this is one of the portpoyte petals. The concept is that a starshade and telescope could lnauch together, with the petals unfurling from the setwod position. The central tusrs would expand, with the petals snapping into place. Now, this has to be made very precisely, literally, the ptales to microns and they have to deploy to millimeters. And this whole structure would have to fly tens of thousands of kilometers away from the telescope. It's about tens of meters in diameter. And the goal is to block out the starlight to incredible precision so that we'd be able to see the pnlaets directly. And it has to be a very special saphe, because of the physics of defraction. Now this is a real pejocrt that we worked on, literally, you would not believe how hard. Just so you believe it's not just in movie format, here's a real photograph of a second-generation starshade deonplmyet test bed in the lab. And in this case, I just wanted you to know that that central truss has heritage left over from large radio deployables in space.

Open Cloze

So _______ on the models and ________ about biochemistry, it's all well and good. But a really big _________ ahead of us is: how? How are we going to find these planets? There are actually many ways to find planets, several different ways. But the one that I'm most focused on is how can we open a gateway so that in the future, we can find hundreds of Earths. We have a real shot at finding signs of life. And actually, I just finished leading a two-year project in this very special phase of a concept we call the starshade. And the _________ is a very specially shaped screen and the goal is to fly that starshade so it ______ out the _____ of a star so that the telescope can see the planets directly. Here, you can see myself and two team members holding up one small part of the starshade. It's ______ like a giant flower, and this is one of the _________ petals. The concept is that a starshade and telescope could ______ together, with the petals unfurling from the ______ position. The central _____ would expand, with the petals snapping into place. Now, this has to be made very precisely, literally, the ______ to microns and they have to deploy to millimeters. And this whole structure would have to fly tens of thousands of kilometers away from the telescope. It's about tens of meters in diameter. And the goal is to block out the starlight to incredible precision so that we'd be able to see the _______ directly. And it has to be a very special _____, because of the physics of defraction. Now this is a real _______ that we worked on, literally, you would not believe how hard. Just so you believe it's not just in movie format, here's a real photograph of a second-generation starshade __________ test bed in the lab. And in this case, I just wanted you to know that that central truss has heritage left over from large radio deployables in space.

Solution

  1. challenge
  2. deployment
  3. starshade
  4. project
  5. truss
  6. planets
  7. working
  8. blocks
  9. thinking
  10. launch
  11. stowed
  12. prototype
  13. shaped
  14. light
  15. petals
  16. shape

Original Text

So working on the models and thinking about biochemistry, it's all well and good. But a really big challenge ahead of us is: how? How are we going to find these planets? There are actually many ways to find planets, several different ways. But the one that I'm most focused on is how can we open a gateway so that in the future, we can find hundreds of Earths. We have a real shot at finding signs of life. And actually, I just finished leading a two-year project in this very special phase of a concept we call the starshade. And the starshade is a very specially shaped screen and the goal is to fly that starshade so it blocks out the light of a star so that the telescope can see the planets directly. Here, you can see myself and two team members holding up one small part of the starshade. It's shaped like a giant flower, and this is one of the prototype petals. The concept is that a starshade and telescope could launch together, with the petals unfurling from the stowed position. The central truss would expand, with the petals snapping into place. Now, this has to be made very precisely, literally, the petals to microns and they have to deploy to millimeters. And this whole structure would have to fly tens of thousands of kilometers away from the telescope. It's about tens of meters in diameter. And the goal is to block out the starlight to incredible precision so that we'd be able to see the planets directly. And it has to be a very special shape, because of the physics of defraction. Now this is a real project that we worked on, literally, you would not believe how hard. Just so you believe it's not just in movie format, here's a real photograph of a second-generation starshade deployment test bed in the lab. And in this case, I just wanted you to know that that central truss has heritage left over from large radio deployables in space.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
exoplanet atmospheres 5
small planets 3
crazy theory 3
planets orbiting 2
night sky 2
space telescope 2
favorite exoplanets 2
science fiction 2
greenhouse gases 2
study exoplanet 2
life produces 2
intelligent aliens 2
central truss 2
real photograph 2
complicated space 2
space telescopes 2
pale blue 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
study exoplanet atmospheres 2
complicated space telescopes 2

Important Words

  1. bed
  2. big
  3. biochemistry
  4. block
  5. blocks
  6. call
  7. case
  8. central
  9. challenge
  10. concept
  11. defraction
  12. deploy
  13. deployables
  14. deployment
  15. diameter
  16. earths
  17. expand
  18. find
  19. finding
  20. finished
  21. flower
  22. fly
  23. focused
  24. format
  25. future
  26. gateway
  27. giant
  28. goal
  29. good
  30. hard
  31. heritage
  32. holding
  33. hundreds
  34. incredible
  35. kilometers
  36. lab
  37. large
  38. launch
  39. leading
  40. left
  41. life
  42. light
  43. literally
  44. members
  45. meters
  46. microns
  47. millimeters
  48. models
  49. movie
  50. open
  51. part
  52. petals
  53. phase
  54. photograph
  55. physics
  56. place
  57. planets
  58. position
  59. precisely
  60. precision
  61. project
  62. prototype
  63. radio
  64. real
  65. screen
  66. shape
  67. shaped
  68. shot
  69. signs
  70. small
  71. snapping
  72. space
  73. special
  74. specially
  75. star
  76. starlight
  77. starshade
  78. stowed
  79. structure
  80. team
  81. telescope
  82. tens
  83. test
  84. thinking
  85. thousands
  86. truss
  87. unfurling
  88. wanted
  89. ways
  90. worked
  91. working