(Extra!) AoT Leiden, Monday 13th May @ Grand Café de Burcht

A special edition event is coming on Monday 13th of May! Did you know that comets exists in extrasolar planetary systems as well? In the context of the workshop ExoComets: Understanding the Composition of Planetary Building Blocks happening in Leiden this month, we will learn all about exocomets with the experts of the field! Join us at 20h in Grand Cafe De Burcht (Burgsteeg 14, 2312 JS Leiden) for three amazing astrobiology talks:

Paul A. Wilson is a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. He is currently working on the PLATO space mission which will use a space telescope to search for small, rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of stars like the Sun. Paul’s research explores young planetary systems with focus on understanding the composition of the comets which exist within them, so called exocomets. In his talk he will present a history of cometary observations from ancient times leading up to present day and share some of the most recent results being discussed at the workshop he is currently organising in Leiden.

Sarah Rugheimer is a Glasstone Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. As an astrobiologist, she is most interested in how we could detect life on another planet by searching for biosignatures in the atmosphere. In her talk, she will discuss how for the first time in human history we are approaching the technological sophistication to do just that, but that we need to be careful not to fool ourselves by thinking we’ve detected life when it could be a geological or photochemical false positive

Clara Sousa-Silva is a quantum astrochemist at MIT. She uses quantum physics and computer simulations to figure out what molecules look like when they interact with light. Clara’s goal is to find a habitable (or inhabited) planet by identifying every relevant molecule contributing to its biosphere. In her talk, Clara will talk about unusual signs of life in space and how we can detect them.

All ages and backgrounds welcome! The entry is free and no reservation is needed. We start at 20h but recommend you arrive early to save a seat and grab a drink. And of course, beside the talks, we will have fun games where you can win cool science prizes! More info: check out www.astronomyontap.nl!