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ENVIRONMENTS OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS UNDER THE YOUNG SUN: SEEDS OF BIOMOLECULES

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
April 9-13, 2018

Logistics and Other Information

Logistics and Location
Meeting Features
Major Objectives
General Topics
Invited Speakers
Driving Directions

Logistics and Venue of the Meeting

We anticipate up to 150 attendees for the Symposium. We will reserve conference space at NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD. NASA GSFC is conveniently accessible by air via BWI, DCA and IAD airports. It is also accessible by car or bus from the areas near New York City (3 hours), Philadelphia (2 hours), and Washington/Baltimore (1 hour).

Meeting rooms: View on map

April 9-11, 2018 - Building 34/Room W150
April 12-13, 2018 - Building 33/Room H114

Meeting features include:

  • Plenary talks: Talks of general interest, including introductions to new topics in the field and more technical discussions of new developments in familiar topics.
  • Breakout sessions: Because the focus of the meeting will be on highly technical details across a wide range of problems, it is essential to hold parallel sessions.
  • Breakout session summary presentations: the chairs of the breakout sessions will present accessible summaries of their discussions in plenary session on the following day.
  • Poster "pops": Every day will include a short session of quick, 1-slide, 1-minute presentations of posters by their authors.

Participants to the workshop will be a combination of invited speakers whose contributions to the workshop are essential, and those responding to an open call for abstracts. The SOC, which includes heliophysics, astrophysicists, planetary scientists and astrobiologists including 2 NExSS PIs and 2 NAI PIs, will select some abstracts for plenary speaking slots, some for breakout sessions, and many for posters. These selections will be based not only on the abstracts' merit, but on the relevance to this workshops principal topics, responses to a pre-workshop survey of registered participants, and demographic diversity, especially among plenary speakers and session chairs.

Invited Speakers (confirmed)

Gary Zank (University of Alabama-Hunsville, USA)
Norman Sleep (Stanford University)
Zita Martins (Imperial College, London, UK)
Amanda Evans (California State University, Fullerton, USA)
Janet Luhman (UC Berkeley, USA)
Charles Lineweaver (Australian National University, Australia)
Yuichiro Ueno (ELSI/Tokyo Tech)
Lisa Kaltenneger (Cornell University, USA)
Robert Pascal (Université de Montpellier, France)
Guillaume Gronoff (SSAI, USA)
Michael Way (GISS, USA)
Kensei Kobayashi (YNU, Japan)
Kazunari Shibata (University of Kyoto)
Nat Gopalswamy (NASA GSFC, USA)
Chuanfei Dong (Princeton University, USA)
Manuel Guedes (University of Vienna, Austria)
Benjamin Lynch (University of California at Berkeley, USA)

Major Objectives of the Symposium

The proposed symposium will discuss the following five topics of particular interest that will help define the meeting goals, but recognizes that for the meeting to be maximally useful the participants themselves must identify additional issues of most serious interest.

The five emerging areas that distinguish this conference are specified around the following scientific questions:

  • What is the role of the young Sun’s magnetic activity on the atmospheric erosion and chemistry of early Earth, Mars and Venus?
  • What is the role of magnetic field of terrestrial planets in setting their habitability?
  • What is the role of the young Earth’s climate and atmospheric chemistry on the early acidity and salinity of oceans?
  • What is the role of irradiation of mineral surfaces in synthesis of biomolecule?
  • What are the pathways to complexity in the environments of early earth: from simple molecules to RNA?

General Topics

  • Evolution of Space Weather from the Sun
  • Magnetic Protection of Early Terrestrial Planets: Escape Processes
  • Atmospheric Pressure of Early Earth, Mars and Venus: Space Weather Impact
  • Faint Young Sun paradox and current atmospheric models
  • Impact of ionizing radiation on atmospheric chemistry and surface of the early Earth, Mars and Venus
  • Ionizing radiation dosage on surfaces of early terrestrial planets: survival of biopolymers
  • Early Earth's oceans under the young Sun
  • Pathways and traces of prebiotic chemistry on terrestrial planets and exoplanets
  • Pathways to complexity: from simple molecules to RNA
  • Synthesis of organic compounds of biochemical importance in reducing and neutral atmospheres
  • The interplay of the different subsystems on early Earth and Mars for the origin of life
  • Evolution of earliest stages of life and its traces left in the geological record of Earth and Mars
  • Global and local environments around great oxidation event and traces on Earth
  • Origin of biogenic conditions on exoplanets

All of this advances one of the three primary science objectives for the decade, per the 2010 Planetary Science Decadal Review for 2013-2022: "Planetary habitats: Searching for the requirements of life". This also supports NASA Astrophysics Division’s goal to "Discover and study planets around other stars, and explore whether they could harbor life," and the NExSS goal to "investigate the diversity of exoplanets and to learn how their history, geology, and climate interact to create the conditions for life."

Driving Directions to the Goddard Space Flight Center

The main campus of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is physically located at:

GSFC locale map 8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20771

From Washington, D.C.
Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) North to Greenbelt Road (Route 193). Take Greenbelt Road East for approximately 2.5 miles. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).

From Baltimore
Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) South. Take the exit to MD-193/Greenbelt/Goddard Space Flight Center. Turn left at Southway. Turn left onto Greenbelt Road and head towards NASA for about 1.8 miles. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).


From Capital Beltway (I-495/I-95)
Take Exit 22A (Balt/Wash Parkway - Rt. 295 North). Take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Route 295) North to Greenbelt Road (Route 193). Take Greenbelt Road East for approximately 2.5 miles. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).


From Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport
Follow the exit road out of BWI Airport and follow the signs for the Baltimore Washington Parkway, Rt. 295 towards Washington. You will be on 295 for approximately 20-30 minutes. Take the Rt. 193-Greenbelt Road/ College Park/ NASA Goddard Exit. At the first traffic light, make a left onto Southway. Make another left at the next light onto Greenbelt Road. Follow Greenbelt Road for approximately two miles. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).


From Reagan National Airport
Leaving the airport, you will be on the George Washington Memorial Parkway North. Bear to the right onto 395 North. You will go over the 14 the Street bridge, continue to follow signs for 395 North, following signs for I-295 North (Baltimore Washington Parkway). Stay on 295 North for approximately 5 miles and take the exit for Greenbelt Road (this is just after the exits for I-95). Make a left at the stoplight. This will be Greenbelt Road (Rt. 193). Follow Greenbelt Road for approximately 2 miles. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).


From Dulles International Airport
Follow the Dulles Access Road to I-495. Take the first access ramp for Baltimore/Silver Spring/Bethesda. Stay on I-495 for approximately 45 minutes. Take exit 23 (Kenilworth Avenue), when exiting you will bear to the right. Proceed to the light following signs for Greenbelt Road (193). Make a left at the traffic light onto Greenbelt Road. Follow Greenbelt Road for approximately 3 miles. Turn left onto ICESat Road. Turn left at the first opportunity to reach the Visitor Center. Turn left at Goddard Road (Official Business/Visitor Entrance).

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