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Space Telescope Science Institute
Habitable Worlds Across Time and Space

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About The Event

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.

Registration for the Habitable Worlds Symposium is now closed. Members of the Press interested in attending the Press Workshop can register by contacting Martha Devaud directly via email.

To submit an abstract, click on "Register" and add an abstract, or click "View Registration" and select "Add" under the Abstracts section.

Invited speakers will cover the following topics:

  • Terrestrial planet formation, volatile delivery, and the formation of moons
  • Early Earth geochemistry, atmosphere, and the origins of life
  • The frequency of terrestrial planets across stellar mass
  • The limits to Earth-like life
  • Habitability of planets and moons during all phases of stellar evolution
  • Habitability in low-luminosity environments

If you have questions, or would like to be added to a mailing list for routine updates,
please contact:
John Debes 410-338-4782

Confirmed Speakers

  • Eric Agol
  • Phil Armitage
  • Rory Barnes
  • Amy Barr
  • Natalie Batalha
  • Bill Bottke
  • David Catling
  • Shawn Domagal-Goldman
  • Boris Gaensicke
  • Scott Gaudi
  • Michael Gowanlock
  • David Grinspoon
  • Robert Hazen
  • Ralph Lorenz
  • Massimo Marengo
  • Stephen Mojzsis
  • Alison Murray
  • Peter Olson
  • Sean Raymond
  • Frank Robb
  • Colette Salyk
  • Britney Schmidt
  • Diana Valencia
  • Eva Villaver
  • Peter Ward
  • Lee Anne Willson
  • Don Winget
  • Alex Wolszczan

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • John Debes, Chair (STScI)
  • Andrea Banzatti (STScI)
  • Christine Chen (STScI)
  • Elodie Choquet (STScI)
  • Carol Christian (STScI)
  • Michelle Creech-Eakman (NMT/MRO)
  • Nicolas Crouzet (STScI)
  • Jocelyne Di Ruggiero (JHU)
  • David Golimowski (STScI)
  • Dean C. Hines (STScI)
  • Mario Livio (STScI)
  • Steve Lubow (STScI)
  • Peter McCullough (STScI)
  • Mamadou N'Diaye (STScI)
  • Catherine Neish (FIT)
  • Klaus Pontoppidan (STScI)
  • Laurent Pueyo (STScI)
  • Neill Reid (STScI)
  • David Soderblom (STScI)
  • Darrell Strobel (JHU)