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Outer Planets Colloquium Series


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Steve Vance

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NASA Postdoctoral Fellow
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109

Research Summary:

Geophysics and astrobiology of planetary interiors, high pressure and low temperature chemistry, ocean dynamics, hydrothermal systems and fracture mechanics in rocks and ices.

Title 1: The Deep Cold Biosphere?

Abstract 1:

In icy worlds smaller than Earth, including Europa, Enceladus and Titan, hydrothermal activity may persist long after the object's formation, owing to progressive release heat by serpentinization. This scenario has implications for habitability in the outer solar system. I will discuss conditions necessary for such activity to occur.

Title 2: Equations of State for Icy World Interiors

Abstract 2:

Pressures at the bottoms of deep liquid water oceans in icy worlds such as Europa, Titan, Ganymede and Callisto test the limit of current thermodynamic databases. I will present new equations of state for representative ocean compositions based on new laboratory measurements of sound velocity at the relevant pressures and temperatures


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