Event box

Science and Society | Forming a Habitable World: Where Does the Water Come From?

Science and Society | Forming a Habitable World: Where Does the Water Come From?



No one knows if our solar system, with a planet possessing the necessary ingredients for life within the “habitable zone," is a cosmic rarity. We also don’t know if the gas giants in our solar system played a role in delivering the materials essential to life to the habitable zone. Our solar system does not have a common arrangement of planets. Does this have implications for Earth’s habitability? The answers to these questions are contained in the leftovers of the process of forming our solar system. Today, we observe these remnants of the birth of our solar system as comets and icy asteroids. In this Science and Society talk Karen Meech will explore how Earth might have gotten its water and how we are using astronomy, chemistry, meteorite science, geology and geochemistry to explore this question.

Karen Meech is an astronomer/astrobiologist who investigates how habitable worlds form, exploring the bigger picture of whether there is life elsewhere. Her work has embraced the power of interdisciplinary science and she is combining geological field work, geochemistry, astronomical observations, theory and space mission concepts to address fundamental questions about how Earth got its water. She began her career in physics and astronomy, with an undergraduate degree in Space Physics from Rice University and a Ph.D. in planetary physics from MIT in 1987 studying comets, after which she joined the faculty at the University of Hawai’i. She has served as the Graduate chair and the Interim Director for the IfA and has won many awards for her work. She was Co-Investigator on three comet missions:  Deep Impact, EPOXI and Stardust-NeXT. Meech has been leading the development of a space mission to study icy material in the asteroid belt, and leads the team to characterize the first interstellar object that was discovered passing through our solar system.

The library's “Science and Society - Making Sense of the World Around Us” lecture series is co-organized and moderated by Fred Dylla, Executive Director Emeritus of the American Institute of Physics and author of Scientific Journeys, Linda Dylla, former public information officer at the Jefferson Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy, and Colin Norman, the former News Editor at Science.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email us.

Basic written instructions for using Zoom may be found here and a brief video tutorial may be found here. Closed captioning is available for all our sessions. Information on enabling closed captioning in Zoom may be found here.

This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
Tuesday, September 12, 2023 Show more dates
5:00pm - 6:00pm Eastern Time
Lewes Public Library
  Adults     Older Adults  
Registration has closed.