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Galaxy Forum USA 2012 - Paul Gilster


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Galaxy Forum USA 2012 - Paul Gilster

  1. 1. Galaxy Destinations Paul Gilster
  2. 2. Twin Drivers forCosmic ExpansionPlanetary defense acknowledges thedangers of rogue objects in ourhistory and, possibly, our future Astrobiology is the search for life in the cosmos, including intelligent life around other stars
  3. 3. Jupiters Water Worlds Callisto Europa Callisto ESA: Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (2022) "Studying these watery worlds is the next vital step beyond Mars in the search for the conditions for life in our solar system.” – Andrew Coates (University College London) Ganymede
  4. 4. Titan: Analog of the Early Earth? Methane cycle analogous to Earths water cycle Sand dunes, rivers, lakes, seas, deltasLiquid hydrocarbon lakes in the polarregionsA geologically young surface with fewimpact cratersComplex organic chemistry in a pre-biotic environment with possible subsurface ocean
  5. 5. The Case for EnceladusGeysers of water vapor. A warm, sub-surface ocean?Cassini detects organic compounds in close pass by geyser region Enceladus Explorer: The Ice Mole Project being studied in Germany (DLR) Analyze rising water jets by taking samples while the water is still in a liquid state
  6. 6. New Horizons to Pluto/Charon
  7. 7. Brown dwarfs are too low in mass for hydrogenfusion, but capable of deuterium fusion13-75 Jupiter massesEpsilon Indi Ba and Bb, a pair of browndwarfs gravitationally bound to a sunlikestar, around 12 light-years from the Sun.GL229B, orbits the red dwarf star Gliese 229, located approximately 18 light-years away in the constellation Lepus. The brown dwarf is 20-50 times themass of Jupiter, but is so dense it is about the same diameter as Jupiter
  8. 8. Alpha Centauri Triple System  The two primary stars close to within 11 AU  Stable orbits are found around both stars habitable zones
  9. 9. The Nearest Star  Alpha Centauri C  A small red dwarf flare star discovered in 1915  4.21 light years from the Sun  15,000 astronomical units (AU) from Centauri A and B stars  Ongoing planet hunt using data from the European Southern“The known catalog of planet-bearing stars is Observatoryakin to 200 small grains of sand dusting avolume more than 1000 kilometers on a side.” – Greg Laughlin, UC-Santa Cruz
  10. 10. Tau Ceti11.7 light yearsfrom the SunG-class star 5.8billion years old Project Ozmas Targets Epsilon Eridani K-class star 10.5 light years from the Sun 200-800 million years old
  11. 11. Gliese 581 System: Candidates for habitabilityGl 581d maybe the bestbet, but itsprobably at theouter edge ofthe habitablezone, if trulywithin it at all
  12. 12. Moving into the Orion Arm Stars within 50,000 light years: 200 billion Estimates vary: 50 million habitable environments – planets and exomoons -- in our galaxy (David Kipping, Center for Astrophysics) 45.5 billion terrrestrial worlds in the habitable zones of their stars (Jianpo Guo, NAO China) 10 million trillion habitable worlds (1018) in observable universe The galaxy from above. Credit: R PowellInfra-red view towards thecenter of the Milky Way. Credit:Two-Micron All Sky Survey