(Special time and location!!!)理论物理与天体物理研究所系列讲座之246:Exoplanet Habitability and Biosignature Detection


Title: Exoplanet Habitability and Biosignature Detection

Speaker: Professor Feng Tian
Institute: Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University
Time: 2017.03.02(Thursday) 16:30-18:00
Place: Physics Building 552, Haiyun Campus, Xiamen University
20 years after the discovery of the first exoplanet, scientists on the Earth are at the gate of a new era -- observing planets similar to their own planet in the solar system around other stars, low mass stars in particular. This effort could potentially answer the long standing and arguably the most important scientific and philosophical question to human beings:
Are we alone in the Universe?
Exciting developments in the past one year include the discovery of an Earth-size planet orbiting around the nearest star, Proxima, and the discovery of several Earth-size planets in the liquid water habitable zone (HZ) of a cool dwarf, Trappist-1. In 2017 NASA will launch the TESS telescope which aims at discovering all Earth-size planets in the HZ of bright M dwarfs within the solar neighborhood. It can be expected that many more so called potentially habitable planets (PHZ) will follow.
With this rapid pace of discoveries of PHZ, it will be useful to systematically exam the requirements for a planet to be named 'habitable'. And it will be healthy for the scientific community to examine the habitability of planets from an evolution point of view and to discuss how to discover signals of life on exoplanets.
In this talk the most recent developments on planetary habitability and exoplanet missions selected by international space agencies will be discussed. We conclude that a Golden Age of Exoplanet Characterization will arrive after 2020. What role might China play in this new age will also be discussed.

Dr. Feng Tian obtained his PhD in Planetary Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2005. He is currently a professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University, Beijing China. His expertise is in the field of planetary atmospheres, planet evolution, and planet habitability. He is a member of the editorial board of Astrobiology, a reviewer for more than 20 journals including Science and Nature. He is the main organizer of the 2013 CAS-ESA Mars Advanced School, the convener of AGU session "Planetary atmospheres" between 2008 and 2016, and a member of the advisory board of the ELSI-EON Project in Tokyo Institute of Technology. His most recent publication regarding planet habitability can be found at: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v8/n3/full/ngeo2372.html