Palmerston is set to be the first stop on NASA’s visit to the Northern Territory as part of its Australia-wide tour for National Science Week.
City of Palmerston will host NASA scientists, Dr Megan Shabram and Dr Alexandre M Kling from the NASA Ames Research Centre, as they present 'Searching for Life on the Worlds of Our Solar System and Beyond'.
Detailed information on the themes being presented:
Dr Shabram's presentation
Worlds Outside our Solar System from NASA's Kepler Mission and on to the Terrestrial Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS):
Most of the planets found by Nasa's Kepler space science mission aren’t anything like the planets in our solar system. With a closer look at populations of planets from the Kepler mission, we are beginning to put the solar system into context and to start to zoom in on the best opportunities for the future exploration of life in the universe. NASA's recently launched Terrestrial Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover planets around the nearest and brightest stars, providing opportunities for unprecedented discovery!
Dr Kling's presentation
Solar System (Mars/Saturn/Jupiter). The planetary atmospheres of our solar system and the case of Mars:
The gas giants, terrestrial planets, and icy moons of our solar system represent a wide variety of celestial bodies that have formed and evolved in very different ways. By studying the processes responsible for the states of the interiors, surfaces and atmospheres of each of these worlds, planetary scientists are putting together pieces of a puzzle to understand how planetary systems form and characterize the conditions for the emergence of life.
One of the best-case study is perhaps our very own neighbour, Mars. The red planet is a fascinating world: different than Earth in many ways, yet strangely familiar with its gigantic volcanoes, deep canyons, seasonal weather patterns, polar caps, clouds and dramatic storms. We will explore the history of Mars from its formation 4.6 billion years ago to present day and see how the planet have changed from being a wet world to the cold and icy place it is today.