STScI Hosts 'Habitable Worlds Across Time and Space' Symposium April 28-May 1

Released: 3-Apr-2014 3:30 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 3-Apr-2014 3:30 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
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Newswise — 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 our galaxy. Such work seeks to understand the formation and fate of Earth as well as predict where and when different bodies will be suitable for both simple and complex forms of life.

During the four-day symposium "Habitable Worlds Across Time and Space," scientists from diverse fields will gather at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 28 through May 1, to 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-based and space-based observatories.

A special Workshop for Science Writers will be held at the conclusion of the Habitable Worlds Symposium on May 1. The Science Writers' Workshop invited speakers and proposed topics are:

Dr. Shawn Domagal-Goldman (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
"Early Earth as an Alien World"

Dr. Massimo Marengo (Iowa State University)
"Forming Planets During Post-Main Sequence Evolution"

Dr. Natalie Batalha (NASA Ames Research Center)
"Kepler Observations of Habitable Planets"

Dr. Britney Schmidt (Georgia Institute of Technology)
"Habitability of Icy Moons"

Dr. Alison Murray (Desert Research Institute)
"Lake Vida and Subsurface Life"

Journalists interested in attending the Habitable Worlds Symposium talks and/or the Science Writers' Workshop should register by April 24 at http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/habitable-worlds/register. Please write "PRESS" in the comments section. Complimentary registration is available to all working press members, but the cost of food is not included. To participate in morning and afternoon breaks during the Symposium, as well as the Poster Break/Reception scheduled for April 28, please pay the $75 registration fee.

For additional information about the Habitable Worlds Symposium, visit:
http://www.stsci.edu/institute/conference/habitable-worlds.

STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) in Washington, D.C. STScI conducts science operations for the Hubble Space Telescope and is the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope.


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