Next Meeting

Monday 13 December 2021

Please Note:
We are not yet sure if this session will be live or online.
It really deoends on whether there is an increase in Covid cases.
We will keep you informed through email and this site
– stay tuned!

How to build a habitable world
by Catherine Walsh

Artist’s depiction of a protoplanetary disk with young planets forming around a star. The right-side panel zooms in to show various nitrile molecules that are accreting onto a planet.

Outline: So far, we know of only one planet in the universe that harbours life – planet Earth. Our picture of a habitable planet is shaped by what we know about life’s limits on Earth, and these limits set the diagnostics to identify and characterise habitable environments outside of Earth, that may host extra-terrestrial life. Looking at the Earth’s formation history, it is long proposed that Earth became a habitable planet because of the late delivery of water and organic material by impacts of bodies such as comets and asteroids: these are the leftovers of planet formation in our Solar System.  In this talk I will describe current efforts to search for potentially habitable environments outside of the Earth, and I will describe current efforts to detect the organic reservoirs of material around newly born stars that may seed life in emerging planetary systems.

Speaker: Catherine Walsh is a University Academic Fellow and UKRI Future Leader Fellow at the University of Leeds.  She leads a research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy that studies the chemistry of star and (exo)planet formation using state-of-the-art observations with telescopes and computational models.  Her and her group are particularly interested in how chemistry in space shapes potentially habitable environments.  She is also interested in how we can use future observations with telescopes to detect signatures of life on other worlds.

Date: 13 December
Time: Talk begins promptly at 7:45pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 822 1559 9349
Passcode: 149198

Our next online meeting will be:Our next online meeting will be:Monday 25th January at 7.30
“The Promise of Gravitational Waves” by Sue Bowler