Next Meeting Presentation

5 September 2019 – Next Club Meeting

An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville

Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – In the Reuter Center‘s Manheimer Room, located on the UNC Asheville campus. The meeting is free and open to the general public.

Is There Life Inside the Icy Moons of Jupiter and Saturn? – presented by Paul Byrne, North Carolina State University

The icy satellites of our Solar System’s giant planets hold substantial promise as extraterrestrial, habitable environments. Underneath their icy exteriors, these moons could host large water oceans, some of which could be in direct contact with rocky seafloors. On Earth, the seafloor teems with life, and the hydrothermal vents there might even be the sites where life itself originated on our planet.

However, there is almost no geophysical information about the interiors of these enigmatic, extraterrestrial moons, much less whether there might be hydrothermal vents or other environments there conducive to life. Dr Byrne will review the ongoing work to characterize these alien seafloors, discuss recent findings that there may be little to no geological activity there, and review what NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission might be able to tell us of the potential habitability of icy moons throughout the Solar System.