Events Daily

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Equity & Inclusion Committee
Event Type: Other
Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: 726 Broadway, 901, Sm Conf

Venus as Potentially Habitable Planet
Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Event Type: Physics Dept Colloquium
Time: 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: 19 W. 4th Street, Room 101
Abstract: For thousands of years, inspired by the star-filled dark night sky, people have wondered what lies beyond Earth. Today, the search for signs of life is a key motivator in modern-day planetary exploration. Scientists have been speculating on Venus as a habitable world for over half a century, based on the Earth-surface-like temperature and pressure in Venus’ clouds at altitudes 48-60 km above the Venus surface. The controversial detection of phosphine gas has sparked a renewed interest in both the Venus atmosphere in general and in the speculative possibility of life in the clouds. Any life would have to persist aloft indefinitely against downward gravitational settling, in order to avoid the destructively hot temperatures beneath the clouds. Life would also have to survive a low-water activity environment in cloud particles made of the very aggressive solvent sulfuric acid. Professor Seager will share the Venus story from decades-old persistent mysteries in the physics and chemistry of Venus’ atmosphere, to phosphine (a harbinger for the search for the future of biosignature gases in exoplanet atmospheres), to a literal paradigm shift from lab-based organic chemistry in sulfuric acid, to the Venus “Morning Star Missions”—the path to resolve the question of whether or not Venus is a habitable or inhabited world. *If you do not have a valid NYU ID Card and would like to attend, send an email with your full name to*