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2009 Spring Symposium Webcasts
Monday May 4, 2009
2009 Spring Symposium
Matt Mountain (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Welcome to the symposium and opening remarks by Dr Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute.
2009 Spring Symposium
Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center)
The search for a second genesis of life in the universe address deep philosophical and scientific questions: Is life common in universe? Are there alternative biochemistries for life? Several observations motivate the search. These include the prese ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Pascale Ehrenfreund (Space Policy Institute)
The variety of interstellar environments offers many chemical pathways that lead to the formation of carbon compounds. Observations throughout the electromagnetic spectrum show a large variety of organic molecules in interstellar clouds. Simple molec ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Jeffrey Bada (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD)
There are two fundamental requirements for life as we know it, liquid water and organic polymers, such as nucleic acids and proteins. Water provides the medium for chemical reactions and the polymers carry out the central biological functions of rep ...
2009 Spring Symposium
James Kasting (Pennsylvania State University)
Earth is the only planet known to harbor life and thus serves as our model both for a place where life may have originated and as a planet on which life could be remotely detected. Conditions on the early Earth, however, are not well understood, part ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Drake Deming (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
No description found.
2009 Spring Symposium
Robert Shapiro (New York University, Dept. of Chemistry)
In one widely accepted theory of the development of life on Earth, evolution began with the appearance of organic polymers with the ability to catalyze their own replication. By natural selection, these polymers evolved into an RNA world and then in ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Dawn Sumner (University of California, Davis)
The vast majority of ancient organisms leave no discernible evidence of their existence beyond a minute contribution to the average chemistry of their environment. Preservation of distinctive chemical or morphological signatures is unfortunately (fo ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Janet Siefert (Rice University)
This talk will trace research efforts to understand the progression of life from cellular entities, to the last universal common ancestor of life on earth, to our efforts to understand life's pedigree in a three domain regime. This talk will place th ...
2009 Spring Symposium
John Baross (University of Washington)
The two types of hydrothermal vent environments, magma-driven and peridotite-hosted, offer many contrasting habitat conditions for microbial communities. These environments span a wide range of chemical and physical conditions that include almost all ...
Tuesday May 5, 2009
2009 Spring Symposium
Greg Laughlin (University California Santa Cruz)
Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Over 300 extrasolar planets have been discovered in orbit around stars in our local galactic neighborhood, and more planets are being discovered every month. Laughlin is a Co-I on the Lick Carn ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Jane Greaves (University of St Andrews)
I will review the importance of bombardment by comets and asteroids in the context of the development of life. Although we have only our own life-bearing planet from which to speculate, some aspects such as a catastrophic impact at the level of destr ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Steve Squyres (Cornell University)
For more than a century, Mars has been considered as a possible abode for life. Early telescopic studies investigated "canals" presumed to have been built by intelligent life, and a "wave of darkening" thought to perhaps result from changing vegetati ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Luann Becker (John Hopkins University)
The search for extinct organic matter (i.e., organic matter generated by now-extinct organisms) in rocks, sediments, and ices from Mars or ‘extant’ (living organisms) organic matter on Mars is critical to the determination of where life e ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Chris Chyba (Princeton University)
There is very strong evidence from measurements of Europa's gravity field that the outer ~100 km of Europa's interior is water. There is strong evidence (theoretical and observational, but especially from magnetometer results) that most of this laye ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Ralph Lorenz (JHU Applied Physics Laboratory)
Titan is a target of outstanding interest from three broad perspectives. First, it is a large icy satellite, with a geophysical structure and evolution that may be compared with other satellites such as Ganymede.Second, it shows geomorphological and ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Michael Kelley (NASA)
No description found.
2009 Spring Symposium
Robert Pappalardo (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)
The search for life in the outer solar system focuses on active, ocean-bearing moons. While several icy satellites may contain oceans within, Europa’s ocean seems astrobiologically most promising, with a relatively thin ice shell above, and di ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Don Brownlee (University of Washington)
No description found.
Wednesday May 6, 2009
2009 Spring Symposium
Lisa Kaltenegger (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
In this talk we discuss how we can read a planet’s spectrum to assess its habitability. What can we look for in a spectral fingerprint of Earth and super-Earths that can indicate life? In this talk we explore biomarkers on rocky planets, at dif ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Bill Sparks (Space Telescope Science Institute)
The identification of a universal biosignature that could be sensed remotely is critical to the prospects for success in the search for life elsewhere in the universe. A candidate universal biosignature is homochirality, which is likely to be a gener ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Marc Pinsonneault (Ohio State University)
The impact of stellar properties on the habitable zones around them are discussed. The predicted luminosity as a function of mass, composition, and age is well-constrained. However there is recent data indicating that the radii of lower-mass stars ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Sara Seager (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Over 300 exoplanets are known to orbit nearby stars. Now that their existence is firmly established, a new era of “exoplanet characterization” has begun. A subset of exoplanets—called transiting planets—pass in front of their ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Nancy Kiang (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)
Photosynthesis broadly, the utilization of light by life to drive biochemical processes – is so successful a process that it provides the foundation for virtually all life on Earth. Its presence is visible at the global scale, in our abundant ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Michael Mumma (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
No description found.
2009 Spring Symposium
Robert Brown (Space Telescope Science Institute)
An extrasolar planet's orbit and mass have both scientific and practical significance: the values of these parameters help us better to understand the physical conditions on the planet and efficiently plan future analytic observations. However, estim ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Wesley Traub (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Knowing that exoplanets exist, we naturally ask if there are any counterparts to the Earth, and if they show signs of life. To answer these questions, we must first find Earth- or super-Earth size planets, then characterize them with spectroscopy. ...
2009 Spring Symposium
David Latham, Carl Pilcher, Jennifer Wiseman, Dimitar Sasselov (NASA and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
No description found.
Thursday May 7, 2009
2009 Spring Symposium
Jill Tarter (SETI Institute)
The 1959 Nature article by Giuseppe Cocconi and Phil Morrison provided the theoretical underpinnings for SETI, accompanied in 1960 by Project Ozma, the first radio search for signals by Frank Drake at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Ewine van Dishoeck (Leiden University)
Organic compounds are ubiquitous in space: they are found in diffuse clouds, in the envelopes of evolved stars, in dense star-forming regions, in protoplanetary disks, in comets, on the surfaces of minor planets, and in meteorites and interplanetary ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Steven Benner (Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc.)
Exobiology, the field that hunts for alien life, is a science without a subject matter. This makes difficult the use of "the" scientific method in the hunt. Tools used routinely to detect life on Earth are not likely to detect alien life. Nothing ill ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Paul Davies (Arizona State University)
It is often remarked that the discovery of life beyond Earth would transform our view of ourselves and our place in the universe. However, the implications for science and society depend crucially on the precise nature of the discovery. In my talk I ...
2009 Spring Symposium
Ray Villard, Pascale Ehrenfreund, Janes Greaves, Sara Seager, Wes Traub, Steve Benner, Mario Livio (STScI, Leiden University, University of St. Andrews, MIT, JPL, Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution/FfAME, STScI)
"Welcome and Introductions", "The Seeds of Life -Exogenous Delivery of Organics to Earth", "Terrestrial Planet Bombardment and Habitability", "Theoretical Models of Exoplanet Atmospheres and Interiors:Implications for Life Detection", "Advantages a ...