Molten exoplanets as a window into the earliest Earth

  • Date: Nov 17, 2021
  • Time: 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Tim Lichtenberg, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford, UK
Molten exoplanets as a window into the earliest Earth
Due to the absence of a reliable rock record from the Hadean, our understanding of the planetary environment that gave rise to life on the earliest Earth is clouded. Upcoming exoplanet surveys, however, will significantly widen our view of the distribution and variability of rocky planets and their chemical inventories, giving opportunity to test scenarios of early planetary evolution. I will describe efforts to establish a comprehensive theoretical framework to simulate the coupled evolution of solidifying planetary mantles and their outgassing atmospheres on young rocky worlds for a wide range of instellation, mass, and composition. In combination with statistical data on a population level and detailed characterisation of individual high-temperature planets, this will enable us to infer the climatic and geodynamic properties of clement, rocky worlds. I will conclude with an outlook on how inferences on the climate and geochemistry of rocky exoplanets may open the path to constraining the formation and earliest surface environment of our own planet.
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