Conferences and Meetings: November 2008

Dates: February 4 - 6, 2009

On the first day, the meeting will address the stellar environment during planet formation. On the second, invited talks will touch on extrasolar planets and planet formation. The third day will cover solar system talks. Since the range of topics is quite broad, a preliminary schedule is included below. When submitting an abstract please take into consideration how well your chosen topic fits into the program, as this will be one of the criteria for the selection panel. We will schedule 10 or so contributed talks, and will have a poster session if there is sufficient interest.

Please Contact Ignacio Mosqueira at with an abstract of 1000 words or less in word or pdf format before November 15. Abstracts should emphasize the broad theme of the Origins of planetary systems.

Source: NAI Newsletter

The NAI Planetary System Formation Focus Group (PSFFG) invites interested astrobiologists to participate in a review of the astrobiological value of upcoming and proposed NASA space telescopes relevant for the general question of planetary system formation. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Long Beach, California on January 4-9, 2009. For details about the AAS meeting, please see:

The next Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon) will be held July 17 - 20 2009 at the University of Washington in Seattle. The primary objective of AbGradCon is to improve the future of astrobiology research by bringing together in a unique setting the early-career astrobiologists (graduate students and post-doctoral fellows within 2 years of finishing their Ph.D.) who will lead such research in the years to come. The conference is unique in that it is a student-led meeting, from the organization to the presentations. AbGradCon strives to remove the "pressures" of typical scientific meetings by providing a relaxed atmosphere in which presentations and round-table discussions are fostered along with numerous social activities. AbGradCon will also be hosted in the virtual world of Second Life at the NASA CoLab Sun Amphitheater.

For more information:

Source: NAI Newsletter

Date/Time: Monday, November 24, 2008 11:00 AM Pacific

Presenter: Roger Summons (Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT)

Abstract: A great mass extinction took place 252 million years ago when approximately 90% of the existing marine taxa were lost. Both the magnitude of the extinction and the slowness of the subsequent faunal radiation are enigmatic. The event is also known for the number and diversity of theories about its cause(s) including catastrophic volcanism, sudden climate change, overturn of stagnant oceans and bolide impact. Studies of molecular fossils confirm that the oceans were stagnant (euxinic) for some considerable period of time before and after the main biological turnover. Accordingly this event appears to be the culmination of particular paleo-oceanographic circumstances that happened on a geological timescale.

For more information and participation instructions:

Source: NAI Newsletter