Within a matter of years, humanity will know for the first time the frequency of terrestrial planets in orbit around other stars. This knowledge will pave the way for joining research from astronomy, Earth science, and biology to understand the past, present, and future of the Earth within its larger context as one of many habitable worlds throughout the Galaxy. Such work seeks to understand the formation and fate of the Earth as well as predict where and when different bodies will be suitable for both simple and complex forms of life.
In this four day symposium, scientists from diverse fields will discuss the formation and long-term evolution of terrestrial bodies throughout the various phases of stellar and Galactic evolution. A particular focus will be in how the specific conditions and challenges for habitability on Earth extend to other bodies in the Solar System and beyond. This symposium will include discussion about sites for Galactic habitability that have not yet been given much attention. The existence of these overlooked environments may provide motivation for novel astronomical observations with existing and next generation ground and space-based observatories.
Space permitting, Spring Symposium talks are open to faculty and staff from all local (Maryland and Washington, DC) institutions without registering. Seating is not guaranteed without registration. Please note, name badges are required for participation in morning and afternoon breaks as well as for Poster Break/Reception scheduled for April 28, 2014. Unregistered attendees are asked to refrain from sampling refreshments.