While the world reflects on the first flight to the moon and our future on Mars, Dr Dimitri Veras and James Blake from Warwick's astrophysics department think asteroids – the so-called “minor planets” – deserve recognition. Here’s why.
Dr Dimitri Veras and James Blake of the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability make the case for space travel to asteroids in this article for The Conversation.
Seminar title: Inhabiting the universe: what are the limits for habitats across the future of the universe?
It was our pleasure to welcome Anders Sandberg from the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford. Anders gave an exhilarating overview of a number of potential futures for life, both as we know it and otherwise. After considering the likeliness of finding alien life given our current observational and theoretical understanding, Anders moved on to consider a variety of avenues for life to flourish in the upcoming eras of the universe.
James Blake, a postgraduate student in the Warwick Astronomy & Astrophysics Group, gives an overview of his summer project researching the topic of panspermia and applying the theory to the exciting TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.
Dimitri Veras leads an interdisciplinary team of astronomers and biologists in a study exploring the dynamical and biological constraints of interplanetary panspermia. This is the theory that life can hop from planet to planet via some mechanism, most likely aboard asteroids or comets.
This work was published in Astrobiology, Volume 18, Number 9
Open access link: arXiv
CEH members involved: Dimitri Veras (lead), David Armstrong, James Blake, Jose Gutiérrez-Marcos & Hendrik Schäefer