Dr. Jim Kasting

(Department of Geosciences and Meteorology, Penn State)

"Habitable zones and the search for life (and good weather!) on planets around other stars"

What UG Homepage GR
When Sep 16, 2015
from 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Where 112 Walker Building
Contact Name Steven Greybush
Contact email
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Jim Kasting Geosciences PSU

All life on Earth depends on liquid water during at least part of its existence, and it is conservative to assume that life elsewhere has this same requirement. To be detectable remotely, life must also be able to colonize the surface of a planet so that it can modify the planet’s atmosphere to an extent that would be detectable from a great distance. Hence, the habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region within which a rocky planet can support liquid water on its surface. The tools needed to estimate the boundaries of the HZ are those of meteorology: 1-D and 3-D climate models. I will discuss the current state of the art in HZ climate modeling, as well as future space telescopes that should eventually allow us to look for habitable planets around nearby stars and perhaps determine whether they are actually inhabited.