Life Cycle of Earth

Humans have been watching the skies since the dawn of time.  Questions of where do we come from, why are we here, and what is this huge rock I am standing on doing here, have puzzled even the greatest of minds.  One such question looks like it may finely have an answer.  How long do we have, well, sort of.

Observing nature, you know that your pet dog may only have a short life expectancy, or that a great mighty oak may live for hundreds of years.  This is because other such life forms have shared the cards dealt them by mother nature.  Can the same apply to the planets of the universe?

Starting April 29th through to May 2nd of 2013, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore will hold a symposium on that very topic.  Scientists from all fields will be on hand to discuss the possibility of planets offering us a glimpse of our own life cycle.  The research is ongoing and studies the stages of possible life sustaining planets orbiting other suns.  The main topic will be “how specific conditions and challenges  for habitability on earth extend to other bodies in the solar system and beyond”.  there will be discussions about sites for galactic habitability not discussed in detail before, as well as over looked in the past.

Other topics range from:

* Terrestrial planet formation, volatile delivery, and the formation of moons;
* Early Earth geochemistry, atmosphere, and the origins of life;
* The frequency of terrestrial planets across stellar mass;
* The limits to Earth-like life;
* Habitability of planets and moons during all phases of stellar evolution; and
* Habitability in low-luminosity environments.

With a wide rage of speakers, and a huge support from many scientific organizations, there is sure to be a huge amount of information brought forth.  You can sit in on the symposium if you visit the STSCI site.  Tickets start at $60, but for an extra $15, you can enjoy a dinner after the show.

Questions: John Debes 410-338-4782

Cheryl Gundy
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
+1 410-338-4707

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