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 pageLink opens in a new window.
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. Please explore our webpages, and feel free to contact us if you would like to get involved.
We are very excited to welcome Prof Jane Greaves from Cardiff University as the next speaker in the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability seminar series. Prof Greaves will be giving a talk titled "Planets, Exoplanets, & Life" on Friday 16th June 2023.
So what was all that furore about phosphine? I will report on new observations of phosphine in Venus' clouds, and place these in the context of possible sources, such as active volcanoes or even extant life. New techniques are being developed for agnostic biosignatures, and new models are emerging for biosignature gases in different planetary environments. I will discuss the crossover of these advances for exoplanetary science and some of the lessons learned from solar system life searches. Finally, I will introduce some ongoing observing campaigns that can help to assess habitability of rocky exoplanets.
We are delighted to welcome our own Dr Heather Cegla as the next speaker in the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability seminar series. Dr Cegla will be giving a talk titled 'A pathway to the confirmation and characterisation of habitable alien worlds'.
Are we alone in the Universe? Since the confirmation of the first planets outside our solar system in the 1990s, we have made tremendous progress towards answering this question. Yet, the confirmation of a true Earth-analogue still evades us. On top of this, if we are truly to understand the origins of life in the cosmos, we must also create a complete picture of planetary formation, evolution, and habitability. However, each of these aspects necessitates a detailed knowledge of Sun-like stars. This is because we study exoplanets indirectly by analysing their much more luminous host stars. For example, most planet confirmation relies on the Doppler wobble of the host star, induced by the presence of the planet. Moreover, we can learn about a planet's dynamical history from mapping its projected orbit as it transits its host star. Hence, if there are inhomogeneities on the stellar surface, they can impact planetary interpretations and even completely swamp the signals from rocky worlds. In this talk, I will discuss how we confirm and characterise planets outside our solar system and how our knowledge of their host stars poses a fundamental hurdle we must overcome on the pathway to rocky, temperate worlds.
It was our pleasure to welcome Prof. Didier Queloz for our first annual Habitability GRP keynote lecture. Prof. Queloz shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics with Michel Mayor and James Peebles, for discovering the first exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star, 51 Pegasi b. We were treated to a fascinating overview of past, present and future efforts to find life on worlds outside the Solar System. Upcoming missions like JWST and PLATO will probe more effectively than ever before, edging us ever-closer to answering the age-old question: are we alone?