SETI Institute Principal Investigator
“Why are the planets different?” asks Patrick Cassen, a planetary scientist who studies the formation and evolution of stars and their planets. Planetary systems are apparently common, but diverse in their properties and difficult to observe. On the other hand, the disks from which they form are ubiquitous around young stars and are readily observed. By studying how these disks are related to the properties of planets, Cassen seeks to understand what it takes for a planet to be habitable.
- SETI Institute Explorer, Special Edition 2005