The Hycean paradigm in the search for life elsewhere

The Hycean paradigm in the search for life elsewhere

The Hycean paradigm in the search for life elsewhere

event Saturday, September 28, 2024 schedule 3.00pm - 4.00pm BST
event Saturday, September 28, 2024 schedule 3.00pm - 4.00pm BST
  • Blue Barren Hycean Ice Planet with Frozen Oceans and Rings in Space
In-person at Sidgwick | £15
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Location: 
Sidgwick Site | View details

The search for life elsewhere is a major frontier in modern science. Hycean worlds are a new class of exoplanets with ocean-covered surfaces and hydrogen-rich atmospheres. Recently, atmospheric observations of a possible Hycean world, K2-18 b, with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) led to the first detections of multiple carbon-bearing molecules in its atmosphere. In this session, Professor Nikku Madhusudhan will present the JWST observations and the insights they provide on K2-18b, discussing new observational and theoretical developments regarding Hycean worlds, their potential for habitability and biological activity, and their prospects in the search for life beyond Earth.

Speaker

Professor Nikku Madhusudhan

Photograph of Nikku Madhusudhan

Nikku Madhusudhan is a Professor of Astrophysics and Exoplanetary Science at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. Renowned for pioneering atmospheric retrieval methods for exoplanets, his recent work identified Hycean worlds—planets with ocean-covered surfaces and hydrogen-rich atmospheres. In 2023, he led the first discovery of carbon-bearing molecules in a possible Hycean world using the James Webb Space Telescope. He earned his PhD in Physics from MIT and held postdoctoral positions at MIT, Princeton, and Yale before joining Cambridge in 2013. Madhusudhan has received numerous awards, including the Young Scientist Medal in Astrophysics from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, the MERAC Prize in Theoretical Astrophysics from the European Astronomical Society, and the Pilkington Prize for excellence in teaching at Cambridge.

Booking information

In-person lectures at the Sidgwick Site as part of Alumni Festival cost £15 per person.

Price: 
£15

Location

Sidgwick Site
West Road
Cambridge
CB3 9DP
United Kingdom

Contact

Alumni Festival Team
Location: