What is habitability?

Planetarium closures

Visitor notice: Between 21 - 23 of April the scheduled 'Phantom of the Universe' planetarium show will be replaced by the 'Final Frontier' show in all the advertised slots.  See what's on and choose your next space adventure

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
22 February | 5.30-9.30pm
Adult: £10.00 | Concession: £8.50 | Child: £7.00
Royal Observatory, Peter Harrison Planetarium
Talks & courses
10% members discount

What is 'life'? Experts from different research fields discuss the true nature of habitability.

Experts in different fields, from extrasolar planets to biology, gather to discuss the concept of habitability -- the potential of a planetary body  to host life. But what is 'life'? This symposium will be hosted by research experts and attended by students in various fields related to the topic of habitability. This is an exciting opportunity to see cutting edge research and discussion in action with limited spaces for members of the public. This event is held in collaboration with Nature Astronomy.

After hearing talks from each of the speakers listed below, a debate will be moderated by May Chiao, the Chief Editor of Nature Astronomy, which launched in 2017. Drinks and canapes will be served during a break in the event in our planetarium foyer.

Ages: 11+


Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Exoplanetary researcher, Queen Mary University

Proxima b, the nearest exoplanet to the Solar System, and deep searches around other very nearby stars


Ian Crawford, Planetary scientist and astrobiologist, Birkbeck College London

Lunar exploration, the planetary context of the origin and evolution of life, and space exploration and space policy


Dominic Papineau, Exobiologist and biogeochemist, University College London

Biosignatures in the oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth, co-evolution of biogeochemical cycles, and fossils of extra-terrestrial life


Mark Sephton, Geochemist and biochemist, Imperial College London

Organic matter in meteorites and the search of organics on Mars and other Solar System bodies

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