Franco-Australian Astrobiology and Exoplanet School and Workshop

FAAbExo 2017 School Program

# Lecture Speakers Time Venue
WELCOME 09:00 AM - 09:20 AM Acton Theatre
1 Astrobiology in Paris Stephane Mazevet
Paris Sciences & Lettres (PSL) Research University Paris
09:20 AM - 10:00 AM Acton Theatre
2 Astrobiology in Australia Malcolm Walter
University of New South Wales
10:00 AM - 10:40 AM Acton Theatre
MORNING TEA 10:40 AM - 11:20 AM Crawford School foyer
3 Origin of Life on Earth Martin van Kranendonk
University of New South Wales
11:20 AM - 12:00 PM Acton Theatre
4 Is Life a Cosmic Imperative? Paul Davies
Arizona State University
12:00 PM - 12:40 PM Acton Theatre
LUNCH 12:40 PM - 02:00 PM Crawford School foyer
5 Star Formation Chronology of the Solar System Mark Krumholz
Australian National University
02:00 PM - 02:40 PM Acton Theatre
6 Meteoritic Chronology of the Solar System Yuri Amelin
Australian National University
02:40 PM - 03:20 PM Acton Theatre
AFTERNOON TEA 03:20 PM - 04:00 PM Crawford School foyer
7 Salts on Planetary Surfaces: Implications for
Planetary Processes, Life and Exploration of
Our Solar System and Beyond
Penelope King
Australian National University
04:00 PM - 04:40 PM Acton Theatre
8 Searching for Life in the Solar System Chris McKay
Remote from USA
NASA Ames
04:40 PM - 05:20 PM Acton Theatre
9 European Astrobiology Network Ewa Szuszkiewicz
Remote from Poland
University of Szczecin
05:20 PM - 05:30 PM Acton Theatre

Star Formation Chronology of the Solar System

In this lecture I review our current understanding of the processes by which stars like the Sun form. I discuss observational and theoretical constraints on the timescales for various stages of the star and planet formation process, and attempt to highlight significant uncertainties. I link the chronology of planet formation to that of the early phases of stellar evolution. Finally, I discuss whether observations of the Solar System provide any additional constraints on the formation environment or formation processes for the Sun in particular.

Salts on Planetary Surfaces: Implications for Planetary Processes, Life and Exploration of Our Solar System and Beyond

On Earth, there is abundant water and salts are relatively rare - they dissolve and precipitate from waters and brines at the surface and in the crust. In contrast, on dry and icy planetary bodies, salts - including sulfates, halides, perchlorates, nitrates and (bi)carbonates - are an important component. Salts have been identified on the inner planets and the Moon, asteroids (e.g., Ceres), the moons of Jupiter, Enceladus, in comets (e.g. Comet Wild 2) and in meteorite falls. It is likely that salts also make up the surfaces of exoplanets.
It is important to recognize and identify extra-terrestrial salts in both meteorites and planetary bodies for several reasons. First, salts may influence our choices of targets in the search for life beyond Earth - salts may trap evidence of life (micro-organisms) within their crystal structure and also some salts are more hospitable for micro-organisms than others. Second, salts may increase cohesion by cementing grains and allowing them to survive impact events (i.e. collisions with other planetary bodies) and impeding dust levitation. Third, salts may change the spectral signature detected from planetary bodies because they change the absorbance/reflectance/emittance properties of the materials. Fourth, salts may provide a record of processes on other planetary bodies related to their surface history; in some cases, like Mars, salts may preserve evidence of the past climate.
Most past studies have focused on salts forming from as precipitates from either brines or volcanic fluids. I will review those studies and then also examine a scenario where salts form in reactions between gases and solids. These three processes will be discussed in the context of recent data from Mars and applied to efforts to explore the solar system and exoplanets for life.

# Lecture Speakers Time Venue
1 Protoplanetary Disk Formation and Evolution Michael Ireland
Australian National University
09:20 AM - 10:00 AM Acton Theatre
2 Cosmochemistry of Disk Formation Trevor Ireland
Australian National University
10:00 AM - 10:40 AM Acton Theatre
MORNING TEA 10:40 AM - 11:20 AM Crawford School foyer
3 Exoplanet Detections Jessie Christiansen
NASA Exoplanet Science Institute
California Institute of Technolog
11:20 AM - 12:00 PM Acton Theatre
4 Exoplanet Architectures Dan Fabrycky
University of Chicago
12:00 PM - 12:40 PM Acton Theatre
LUNCH 12:40 PM - 02:00 PM Crawford School foyer
5 The Phylogeny of Life on Earth Simonetta Gribaldo
Institut Pasteur
02:00 PM - 02:40 PM Acton Theatre
6 Polarimetry and Search for Liquid Water
on Exoplanets
Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer
University of New South Wales
02:40 PM - 03:20 PM Acton Theatre
AFTERNOON TEA 03:20 PM - 04:00 PM Crawford School foyer
7 Geophysics of Rocky Planets Diana Valencia
University of Toronto
04:00 PM - 04:40 PM Acton Theatre
8 New Technologies for Exoplanet Detection Frantz Martinache
Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur
04:40 PM - 05:20 PM Acton Theatre
9 Climate and Habitability on Rocky Planets Francois Forget
Remote from France
French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Institute Pierre Simon Laplace
05:20 PM - 06:00 PM Acton Theatre

Polarimetry and Search for Liquid Water on Exoplanets

Light scattered from the atmosphere of a planet and its surface is polarised. In contrast, light from solar-type stars is largely unpolarised. Therefore polarimetry can be used for the detection and characterisation of extrasolar planets around such stars. The degree of polarisation due to reflected starlight depends strongly on the composition and physical properties of planetary atmospheres. Ultimately observations of polarisation could provide clues about the water droplets in the planetary atmosphere and possible detection of liquid water on the planetary surface via glint reflection.
I will discuss polarimetric observations of hot Jupiters with the high precision polarimeter, HIPPI at the Anglo Australian telescope built at the UNSW. I will also describe capabilities of the newly developed polarimeter, HIPPI-2, to be used on the 8-metre Gemini telescope.

Our Sponsors

Australian National University College of Science Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics Research School of Earth Sciences
Embassy of France in Australia Creative France Australia Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University