Public Lectures

Our Evolving Sun, Life on Earth, and the Habitability of Other Worlds

Published on August 26, 2015

Speaker:Eric Wolf
Date:Wednesday, Apr 07, 2021
Time:7:30 p.m.
Location:LASP Space Technology Building, 1234 Innovation Dr.

Seminar Abstract:

Nearly every star in the night sky is a Sun, host to its own system of planets. Exoplanet hunters are keen on detecting Earth-like planets around other stars, but currently our best observations are limited to only the most basic geophysical parameters.

Fortunately, we can say a lot about these alien worlds by first examining the nature and evolution of terrestrial planets found in our own solar system. As our Sun has evolved in time, so too have Venus, Earth, and Mars. All have evidence of liquid water early in their histories, but only Earth remains habitable today. We will discuss the evolution of terrestrial planet atmospheres in relation to the host star, touching upon topics of the Faint Young Sun Paradox, snowball Earth episodes, moist and runaway greenhouses, and the search for a second Earth.

Watch the Public Lecture: