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May 16, 2013: The Beginning of Life and the End of Solar Systems

Posted on May 14, 2013 in Seminars

David Spiegel (Institute for Advanced Study)

I will address several questions related to how much life there might be in our Galaxy:
What affects whether potentially Earth-like exoplanets might be good abodes for life?
What kind of (Milankovitch-like) variations in habitability might be expected in exosolar
systems? And what does the origin of life on Earth tell us about the probability of life
elsewhere in the Galaxy? I will also discuss the longterm evolution of binary systems,
including thermal and chemical changes, and orbital evolution. In particular, Jupiter will
eventually become a hot Jupiter, and if it were somewhat closer to the Sun it would
eventually be tidally engulfed by the future-red-giant Sun.