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AAS 234: Day 2

12 Jun 2019, 14:00 UTC
AAS 234: Day 2
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Editor’s Note: This week we’re at the 234th AAS Meeting in St. Louis, MO. Astrobites and AAS Nova will be working together to publish updates on selected events at the meeting this week; the usual posting schedule for AAS Nova will resume next week.
Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) Plenary Lecture: The Role of Dust in the Molecular Universe (by Kerry Hensley)
Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. [Clément Bardot]Dr. Xander Tielens (Leiden University, Netherlands) began his talk by reflecting on the enormous paradigm shift he has seen over the course of his career. Over the past several decades, we’ve learned that nearly all stars host planetary systems, and many of those systems harbor Earth-like planets: studies have shown that as many as a fifth of Sun-like stars have a rocky planet orbiting in the habitable zone. We’ve also learned that life on Earth is much hardier than anyone ever expected. We’ve found bacteria in the scalding water of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, fossilized under frozen lakebeds in Antarctica, and clinging to salt crystals in the Atacama Desert in South America, the driest place on Earth. There’s life everywhere, and it developed quickly (in the ...

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