Northwestern University

Apr
12
Fri 4:00 PM

Colloquium: Sarah Rugheimer: Detecting Biosignatures and Pre-Biosignatures in the Atmospheres of Earth-like Planets Around Other Stars

When: Friday, April 12, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Technological Institute, L211, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Yassaman   847.491.7650

Group: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia

Category: Academic

Description:

When we observe the first terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres, we expect to find planets at a wide range of geological conditions and evolution. In our own Solar System we already have three very different terrestrial exoplanets in Earth, Mars, and Venus. Additionally the atmospheres of these planets have not been fixed in time. Earth itself others many possible atmospheric states of a planet. In this talk, I will examine the plausibility of detecting biotically and prebiotically interesting molecules. Molecules such as HCN, NH3, CH4, and C2H6 would be interesting to detect in an exoplanet atmosphere since they are known to be useful for key prebiotic chemical pathways. I will also consider the planet evolution once life takes hold and examine at the rise of oxygen and the detectability of combinations of biosignature gases throughout Earth history, modeling the great oxygenation event and Neoproterozoic oxygenation event event around other star types.

Bio: Dr. Sarah Rugheimer a Glasstone Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford University and a Hugh Price Fellow at Jesus College. Her research interests are modeling the atmosphere and climate of extrasolar planets with a focus on atmospheric biosignatures in Earth-like planets as well as modeling early Earth conditions.

Seminar Speaker: Sarah Rugheimer, University of St. Andrews

 Host: Fong

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Seminar, Colloquium

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