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International symposium: Environments of Terrestrial Planets Under the Young Sun: Seeds of Biomolecules

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09/04/2018 - 13/04/2018
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Environments of Terrestrial Planets Under the Young Sun: Seeds of Biomolecules


This symposium is an international interdisciplinary conference in the emerging area of astrobiology covering astrophysical, physico-chemical, atmospheric and geological aspects of environments of early terrestrial planets with a focus on the impacts of the young Sun’s space weather on the precursors of life.

It is currently unknown if or when life may have begun on planets around other stars, or how long those planets could remain viable for life. In fact, we have only a superficial notion of where to look for habitable planets. The principal cause of this is a lack of understanding of the detailed conditions required for initiation of life and promoting life over geological timescales, dynamical evolution of planetary systems, and atmospheric evolution on planets in other systems. Thus, understanding the conditions compatible with the presence of organic polymer-like nucleic acids and polypeptides in the primitive Solar System and factors promoting prebiotic chemistry over 4 billion years ago may shed light on habitability in other planetary systems in our galaxy.

The understanding of impacts of external factors on prebiotic chemistry including UV and particle fluxes from the young Sun (and other active stars) along with the physio-chemical evolution of planetary atmospheres under the influence of their volcanic and tectonic activity will sharpen our definition of habitability on early terrestrial and terrestrial-type exoplanets. It will also help to specify environmental constraints for prebiotic atmospheric chemistry experiments that will better specify the most plausible pathways to the origin of life. Chemists, biologists, geologists, planetologists, heliophysicists, astrophysicists and Earth scientists are contributing extensively to this interdisciplinary research field.

Thus, to come with unified views in this field, it is crucial to form a key linkage between astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary scientists, Earth science and the prebiotic chemistry/origin of life community.

The central objective of the Symposium is to unify and coordinate these efforts to understand, and characterize heliophysical, magnetospheric, ionospheric, climate and their interaction with geological environments on the early Earth, and Venus and their impacts on the initiation of prebiotic chemistry

General Topics

  • Evolution of Space Weather from the Sun
  • Magnetic Protection of Early Terrestrial Planets: Escape Processes
  • Atmospheric Pressure of Early Earth, and Venus: Space Weather Impact
  • Faint Young Sun paradox and current atmospheric models
  • Impact of ionizing radiation on atmospheric chemistry and surface of the early Earth, and Venus
  • Ionizing radiation dosage on surfaces of early terrestrial planets: survival of biopolymers
  • Early Earth’s oceans under the young Sun
  • Pathways and traces of prebiotic chemistry on terrestrial planets and exoplanets
  • Pathways to complexity: from simple molecules to RNA
  • Synthesis of organic compounds of biochemical importance in reducing and neutral atmospheres
  • The interplay of the different subsystems on early Earth and for the origin of life
  • Evolution of earliest stages of life and its traces left in the geological record of Earth and
  • Global and local environments around great oxidation event and traces on Earth
  • Origin of biogenic conditions on exoplanets

   More information on the symposium website: https://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/600/seec/Events/Environments_of_Terrestrial_Planets_Under_the_Young_Sun.html

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