A stroll in the exoplanets

13 April, 2018 News

Although her childhood dream to wear the astronaut’s outfit and travel to space was abandoned due to myopia, Dr. Coustenis’ passion for exploration was not moderated. Her worship for science fiction led her to combined studies of Literature and Physics, followed by Astrophysics, Space Techniques and specialisation in the external solar system. Today she is the Director of Research 1st class with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France, working at the Paris Observatory in Meudon and the Chair of the European Science Foundation Space Science Committee (ESF-ESSC).

With the help of the distinguished astrophysicist Athena Coustenis, we will “visit” the exoplanets and unpredictable “corners” of the solar system to find out if these favour the existence of life. With her, we will explore the frozen moons that revolve around the gas giants, and try to discover the composition of their atmosphere and their oceans, their energy sources, and all other prerequisites of life. Through her eyes we will see what giant telescopes can reveal.

We will focus particularly on Saturn, Titan and Enceladus satellites, but also on the moons of Zeus: Europe, Ganymede and Callisto. And who knows, maybe Dr. Coustenis will find it in her to reveal to us why she named her daughter Callista.

Title: Are there favorable conditions for life beyond Earth?  || Date & Time: 24 April, 19.00- 19.50