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Karin Oberg

Making Habitable Worlds and the Chemistry of Planet Formation

ABSTRACT: The past decades have revealed that planets are incredibly common in our Galaxy. Among this wealth of exoplanets there is an especially interesting subset: temperate, rocky planets that may be suitable for life. What are the likelihood that such planets contain water and the building blocks of a life, i.e. that they are chemically habitable? These questions can be addressed by considering the chemical environment within which planets assemble. Planets assemble in disks of dust and gas around young stars. Thanks to the arrival of new telescopes we can directly observe these disks, catching planet formation in action, and map out the chemistry that characterizes them. I will present some of our latest discoveries, and what they teach us about the chemical habitability of mature planetary systems.