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[PLS] Sara Vannah (AER)

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2024 Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm Location: 54-517 | MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA Attend Virtually

“Information theory as a tool in the search for life on exoplanets”

Abstract: JWST and a host of upcoming missions promise a critical leap in the search for other life in the Universe. The massive improvement in the quantity and quality of exoplanet observations these instruments will bring accelerates the need for a minimally assumptive technique to search for signs of life on these planets. In this seminar, I will introduce a diagnostic tool that uses information theory to search for signatures of Earth-analogue planets. I will discuss results from testing the tool on a series of simulated Earth models in different contexts – with different temperature host stars and through three epochs in the evolution of life – demonstrating the ability of the method to trace the evolution of life on Earth. The method provides a quick, minimally assumptive diagnostic for assessing whether an exoplanet shows signs of habitability or even of extant life.

[PLS] Planetary Lunch Seminar

Colloquia topics span the range of research interests of the department’s planetary sciences research program, and the talks are intended to appeal to any graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, and faculty with a background in planetary science. Speakers include members of the MIT community and visitors.
Contact: planetary-org@mit.edu