Astronomy Colloquium for 2023-09-20

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 20-Sep-2023
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: 2400 ATL
Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Olson (Purdue University)
Title: Habitability and Biosignatures of High-Obliquity and High-Eccentricity Exoplanets

There exists a large diversity of potentially habitable exoplanets, but we do not yet know which planetary scenarios are most likely to support remotely detectable life. Among terrestrial exoplanets, obliquity may be a particularly important consideration because it is a first-order control on climate. It has two major consequences: (1) shaping the balance of energy received at the equator vs. at the poles, and (2) driving seasonal variability. Eccentricity can also drive seasonality as the planet-star separation evolves. This talk will explore the consequences of obliquity and eccentricity for the habitability of surface environments of exoplanets. I will then discuss implications for life and resulting biosignature production. I will argue that although extreme seasonality may preclude some types of familiar life on high obliquity and high eccentricity worlds, these worlds may nonetheless be among our best targets for exoplanet life detection.

In-person colloquia are usually preceded by espresso and ice cream at 1:45 pm outside room PSC 1150 and are followed by an informal reception at 5:15 pm in that room. Anyone interested in talking with the speaker, or being added to the colloquium announcement email list, should contact the colloquium organizer Dr. Leslie Sage. Lunch will normally be reserved for the speaker to talk to graduate students. Anyone asking a question during a talk is asked to raise their hand and be acknowledged before speaking. Contact Dr. Leslie Sage for details.

Colloquium Organizer: Dr. Leslie Sage


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

This page was automatically generated on: 05-Sep-2023.