“Just about ten years ago I started as a professor at MIT. My job is to search for alien life, not little green humanoids but signs of life on planets orbiting other stars. Every star is a sun and we already know of thousands of suns out there that have planets. There are billions of stars in our Galaxy and the possibilities “out there” are huge and wondrous. Ten years ago I had the perfect life: my dream home; two adorable toddlers; a wonderful husband. My world came crashing down as I became a young widow at age 40, suddenly struggling with two young children and my more than full time, demanding career. My story is the journey of inner and outer space: the climb out of the abyss and the search for another Earth. Ultimately my memoir is about the search for meaning and togetherness—something we all share.” Read an excerpt here.
“Sara Seager’s exploration of outer and inner space makes for a stunningly original memoir. Far from being dwarfed by the scale of exoplanets and galaxies, her most human tale of love, loss, and redemption is illuminated and given meaning by this backdrop. . . . A beautiful and compelling read.”—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“Seager’s beautifully written memoir strikes the perfect balance, weaving a richly told personal story with a clear and accessible tale of the birth and development of a new kind of astronomy—the search for other worlds like our own.”—Katie Mack, author of The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)
Sara Seager is the Class of 1941 Professor of Planetary Science, Professor of Physics, and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her past research is credited with laying the foundation for the field of exoplanet atmospheres, while her current research focuses on exoplanet atmospheres and the future search for signs of life by way of atmospheric biosignature gases. Professor Seager is involved with a number of space-based exoplanet searches including as the Deputy Science Director for the MIT-led NASA mission TESS, as the PI for the on-orbit JPL/MIT CubeSat ASTERIA, and as a lead for Starshade Rendezvous Mission (a space-based mission concept under technology development for direct imaging discovery and characterization of Earth analogs).
Before joining MIT in 2007, Professor Seager spent four years on the senior research staff at the Carnegie Institution of Washington preceded by three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her PhD is from Harvard University, and her BSc from the University of Toronto. Among other accolades, Professor Seager is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. View her popular TED Talks here.