Arthur C. Clarke once described the Universe as a device contrived for the perpetual astonishment of astronomers. Anyone can discover that sense of wonder. You just have to look up. It’s a common belief you need some form of optical equipment to witness those astonishing sights but that is not the case.
Over the past two decades more than one thousand planets have been discovered outside our Solar System. What is even more interesting is that we have started to investigate atmospheres of these planets using telescopes both on the ground and in space. In this talk I will show how we can study the atmospheres of these alien worlds, and what we have learned from these observations.
How can we determine the age of a meteorite, or even the Solar System? How can we unravel the processes that formed Earth and the rest of the Solar System from the primordial dust cloud? The presence, or absence, of particular elements and isotopes in meteorites and their components, and the physics and chemistry of those elements, provides abundant clues to what happened in those first few million years.