The Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability convenes a Postgraduate module, "Habitability in the Universe", which is run by the Institute for Advance Teaching and Learning. This module is open to all postgraduates, from all disciplines, and covers the subject of habitability from myriad perspectives. More details can be found on the module's home page.
Welcome to the website of the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability (CEH) at the University of Warwick. The CEH is a cross-disciplinary research centre that draws upon expertise from departments across the university. It is a collaborative project which works with both the sciences and arts in order to consider life beyond, and on, this planet. We are a newly formed University Research Centre looking for funding to develop our research goals. Please explore our webpages, and feel free to contact us if you would like to get involved.
It is our pleasure to welcome Dr Raphaëlle Haywood from the University of Exeter to the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability seminar series. Dr Haywood will be giving a talk titled 'There’s No Place Like Home: Placing Earth in its Astronomical and Geological Contexts'.
Recent revolutionary discoveries in astronomy are showing that Earth is one of billions of planets, and that terrestrial, temperate planets are commonplace in our galaxy. Geological records indicate that Earth has been many different worlds over time, and life has shown extraordinary resilience through these planetary changes. If we could go to the stars and point our telescopes back at Earth, what would we see? How does life alter Earth's astronomical character? We will look at one of Earth's defining ecosystems: the Amazon rainforest, which is observable from cosmic distances. We will reflect on the impact of various human civilisations. Ultimately, we will draw on these astronomical and geological perspectives to demonstrate that humanity's flourishing is profoundly tied to maintaining this world, here, that we co-evolved with.
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.
CEH member Richard West leads the fascinating discovery of an exoplanet that falls in the middle of what has been termed the 'Neptunian desert'. This refers to a region close-in to the parent star where previously no Neptune-sized exoplanets had been found. NGTS-4b has a mass 20 times that of the Earth and orbits its star (a 13th mag K dwarf) once every 1.34 days! What's more, it's the smallest planet discovered by a wide-field ground-based photometric survey to date - excellent work!
This study was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 486, Issue 4, July 2019, Pages 5094–5103
Open access link: arXiv
CEH members involved: Richard West (lead), Daniel Bayliss, James Jackman, George King, James McCormac, Peter Wheatley, David Armstrong, Paul Chote, Ben Cooke, Emma Foxell, Boris Gänsicke, Tom Louden & Don Pollacco