In this week's 'So, What Do You Do?', college administrator Kevin Brown asks astronomer John Bochanski about life on other planets, action movies and why the North Star is the original GPS.
For someone who has peered deep into the Milky Way, worked with NASA's Kepler Mission to discover other habitable planets in our galaxy and is helping to identify Earth-threatening super asteroids, Haverford College astronomer John Bochanski is a very down to earth guy.
The South Jersey native and Villanova grad proudly describes how in 2008 he skipped out on his brand new job at MIT when his brother got him tickets to Game 5 of the World Series; Phillies vs Tampa Bay at Citizens Bank Park.
"I'd only been working there a week," he says. "My boss at the time was not a big sports fan".
When rain posponed the end of Game 5, Bochanski stayed two more days for the game's completion. When the Phillies won, he stayed an additional two days for the victory parade. "My boss was emailing me saying, '[Are] you coming back to work anytime soon?'"
When he got back to MIT, he says he hunkered down, worked hard and, eventually, his boss forgave him.
Bochanski is a visiting professor at Haverford College and blogs for Sky and Telescope Magazine. His current research is identifying "Goldilocks planets," or rocky planets likely to have the unique set of "just right" conditions that make life possible on earth. He said finding that planet is just a matter of time.
"A winning bet for sure is that we're going to have an image of another earth around a star like our sun, sometime in our lifetime," he says.