Which exoEarths should we search for life?

horner

A/Prof. Jonathan Horner (USQ)
This colloquium will be held 3 pm, 22nd April, in Frank White 43-102

SPECIAL PRE-COLLOQUIUM SEMINAR – students (graduate and undergraduate) are invited to a special seminar prior to the colloquium. A/Prof. Horner will be describing our solar system—including some of its idiosyncrasies—in a “whistle stop tour”. Beginning 2 pm in 43-102.

In recent years, the number of planets found orbiting other stars has grown dramatically, and the rate of discovery continues to climb. In the coming years, we will begin to discover the first truly Earth-like exoplanets, and the search for any evidence of life upon them will begin in earnest.

But how will we choose where to look? The observations required to search for the evidence of life will be extremely challenging, and so it is important to ensure that we choose the best and most promising targets to facilitate that work.

In this talk, I will give a broad overview of the various factors thought to influence ‘planetary habitability’, and describe how current research will help to focus the search for life elsewhere.