Wednesday 05 Jun 2019: [Seminar] Impacts, Habitability and Abiogenesis on Exoplanets
Dr Paul Rimmer - University of Cambridge
4th Floor, Physics Building 14:00-15:00
Inspired by recent geological discoveries about the history of early Earth, I tell a story of our planet's tumultuous youth, from its formation to the origin of life, as shaped by impacts. And, just as impacts create great craters on the surface of a rocky planet, there are several giant holes in the story I tell. Future exoplanet observations, when combined with atmospheric modeling, geological constraints, and laboratory experiments, can fill in some of these holes. I will concentrate on how large impacts can transform terrestrial atmospheres into 'Warm Titan' atmospheres, and propose chemical signatures of subsequent smaller impacts. I will finish by discussing how these observations, along with better observations of the star itself, will help us to recreate these environments in the lab, and will show preliminary laboratory results from these laboratory experiments, when applied to early Earth.