Astronomy Colloquium for 2023-12-06

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 06-Dec-2023
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Dr. Karen Meech (University of Hawaii)
Title: Small Bodies: Primitive Witnesses to the Birth of a Habitable Solar System

No one knows if our solar system, with a planet possessing the necessary ingredients for life within the “habitable zone’’, is a cosmic rarity. We also don’t know if the gas giants in our solar system played a role in delivering the materials essential to life to the habitable zone. Our solar system does not have a common arrangement of planets. Does this have implications for Earth’s habitability? The answers to these questions are contained in the leftovers of the process of forming our solar system. Today, we observe these remnants of the birth of our solar system as comets and icy asteroids. Decades of small body observations from the ground and in space, along with contributions of all-sky surveys are both confirming old theories and uncovering new information that will help piece together how at least one inhabited solar system became habitable. In this talk I will explore how recent discoveries and interdisciplinary investigations are addressing the question of how Earth became habitable, and what we can expect using new tools such as JWST, the LSST and future missions.

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: 14-Nov-2023.