PUBLIC LECTURE: Cooling of Planets and Extra Terrestrial Life
As a planetary body ages, its internal heat gradually escapes to the surface. In Earth-like bodies, this slow cooling may lead to solidification of iron-rich cores and provide energy sources for magnetic dynamos. In giant planets’ icy moons, this slow cooling may result in freezing of their sub-surface oceans and alter their structure and dynamics.
In this lecture, Professor Li will show recent experimental results of:
1. the iron-sulfur binary system melting at high pressure, which suggest Mercury’s core may actually be “snowing” and which reveal new mechanisms for the planet’s dynamo;
2. the thermal conductivity of water-ices under high pressure, with implications for the thermal evolution history of giant planets’ icy moons.
Implications for extra-terrestrial life will be discussed.
Cost: Free, but RSVP essential. To register a place - https://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/li
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