Conferences and Meetings: September 2008

WHEN: November 19, 2008 (Wed) ~ November 21, 2008 (Fri)
WHERE: Salle Cassini, Observatoire Paris, Paris, France

Exoplanets are being discovered at an ever accelerating pace, and planetary scientists and astronomers are increasingly called upon to make the transition from discovery to characterization. This workshop aims at bringing together different scientific communities: solar system planetary scientists, brown dwarf and exoplanet modellers and observers, molecular spectroscopy and instrument development experts.

We will cover different topics: radiative transfer, line lists, photochemical models, dynamics, and observations using space- and ground-based facilities. Current results will be discussed in the context of the preparation of upcoming missions, SPITZER, JWST, and SPICA, and the next generation of direct detection mission concepts from ground andspace.

Posted by: Daniella Scalice, NASA Astrobiology

Oct. 7-9, 2008
Location: Center of Marine Biotechnology, 701 East Pratt Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202

NASA has developed this course on planetary protection policies and practices to familiarize current and future practitioners with NASA and COSPAR planetary protection programs. The course provides a comprehensive review of all applicable policies, practices and procedures necessary to implement a successful planetary protection program, emphasizing integration of managerial, administrative, and laboratory aspects of planetary protection.

Date/Time: Monday, September 29, 2008 11:00AM Pacific
Speaker: Norm Sleep, Stanford University

Abstract: Silicate super-earths are rocky planets with masses up to ~10 that of the Earth. They are of astrobiological interest because they are relatively easy to detect around other stars. Tectonics enhances habitability on the Earth by exhuming biologically important elements. Plate tectonics are too poorly understood on the Earth to tell whether this process should occur on larger planets. Still the Gauss' law relationship that surface heat flow scales with surface gravity provides some insight and yields that the geotherm expressed in terms of pressure is to the first order invariant to planetary size.