Searching for Habitable Worlds with Dr. Abel Méndez

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Dr. Abel Méndez joins us to talk about the search for habitable planets and for planets similar to , in particular. Professor Abel Méndez is a planetary astrobiologist and Director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. His research focuses on the habitability of , the Solar System, and extrasolar planets. Prof. Méndez is a NASA MIRS Fellow with physics and astrophysics research experience at Fermilab, NASA Goddard, NASA Ames, and the Arecibo Observatory.

Prof. Méndez is best known for developing the Similarity Index, the Visible Paleo- Project, and maintaining the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, a database of potentially habitable worlds. He is also co-author of the popular science book Searching for Habitable Worlds. His research has been highlighted by many international publications such as National Geographic, Scientific American, and Discover Magazine.

Prof. Méndez is currently working on theoretical models of the suitability for life of planetary environments, the characterization and detection of potentially habitable exoplanets, and the observation of radio emissions of red dwarf stars from the Arecibo Observatory. He is very active on Twitter sharing astrobiology news as @ProfAbelMendez.

[Spanish Version]

El Profesor Abel Méndez es un astrobiólogo planetario y Director del Laboratorio de Habitabilidad Planetaria de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo. Su investigación se centra en la habitabilidad de la Tierra, el Sistema Solar y los planetas extrasolares. El Prof. Méndez es un becado MIRS de la NASA con experiencia en investigación de física y astrofísica en Fermilab, NASA Goddard, NASA Ames y el Observatorio de Arecibo.

El Prof. Méndez es mejor conocido por desarrollar el Índice de Similitud de la Tierra, el proyecto la Paleo-Tierra Visible y mantener el Catálogo de Exoplanetas Habitables, una base de datos de mundos potencialmente habitables. También es coautor del popular libro de ciencia Searching for Habitable Worlds. Su investigación ha sido destacada por muchas publicaciones internacionales como National Geographic, Scientific American y Discover Magazine.

El Prof. Méndez está trabajando actualmente en modelos teóricos de la capacidad para la vida de los ambientes planetarios, la caracterización y detección de exoplanetas potencialmente habitables y la observación de emisiones de radio de estrellas enanas rojas desde el Observatorio de Arecibo. Él está muy activo en Twitter compartiendo noticias de astrobiología como @ProfAbelMendez.

Tags: christian ready, launch pad astronomy

  1. New Message

    I’m sure you don’t need any more yeses on the Doc trailer question, but here’s mine anyway.

  2. silent willy

    Some interesting points on habitability of planets…

  3. Lo Ve


  4. Gman k

    This was a really good episode but you can talk about habital planets till your blue in the face but what good is it without the right star hosting it? Can you please do an episode about the right type of stars for habital planets to orbit. Example K type, G type and late F type. And for the love of God please stay away from M type stars lol.

  5. Horus _Chan

    Is it reasonable to think that planets that are easy to be terraformed (e.g. planets having inert atmosphere, with land and oceans but are on the hotter or colder regions in the habitable zone, or have slightly more elliptical orbits) is more abundant than perfectly habitable planets?

  6. Damany Brown

    Is earth 🌎 habitable for silicone based lifeforms?

  7. MeTwoFirst

    Is there a planet that is better than Mars which will take maybe a thousand+ years to transform – none other is close enough for humans life’s span so once overcome, no nova for at least a few billion years, no sun w/ flares, warm to melt it’s water ice, atmosphere friendly to life, rotating & similar sized, stable orbit plus few meteor & comet strikes – Lastly a single sun.

  8. Glyn Brookes

    Really interesting mate, bring on the telescope ideas..

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