This webpage provides information for the 17th Heidelberg Summer School hosted by the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD).

The topic of the Heidelberg Summer School 2022 was

Astronomy, astrochemistry and the origin of life


IMPRS for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg:
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Landessternwarte Koenigstuhl, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies.

Scientific organizing committee: Alexey Potapov (Jena Univ. / MPIA), Dmitry Semenov (MPIA)


Paola Caselli (MPI fror Extraterrestrial Physics)
Rob Garrod (Univ. of Virginia)
Thomas Henning (MPI for Astronomy)
Martin McCoustra (Heriot-Watt Univ.)
Alessandro Morbidelli (Cote d'Azur Observatory)

When & where:

The 17th Heidelberg Summer School took place August 22-26, 2022 at the "Mathematikon" in the "Center for Scientific Computing" (IWR) in Heidelberg, Germany.

Scope of the School:

The Origin of Life on Earth is one of the most fascinating questions arising from the studies of our planet, and of the wider Universe.

There are two main hypotheses describing the source of the organic compounds that could have served as the basis of abiogenesis: (1) the in situ synthesis of prebiotic molecules on the primitive Earth and (2) their formation in the Solar Nebula or in its parent molecular cloud, followed by their exogenous delivery onto Earth via asteroids, comets, and their smaller fragments.

The school will be devoted to the exogenous hypothesis leading to the origin of life. We will discuss how astronomy and theoretical and experimental astrochemistry act together to explore this hypothesis, and to go beyond our Solar System in the search for extraterrestrial life and other habitable planets.

Five distinguished invited lecturers, along with an assortment of local experts, will provide an introduction to the field with an emphasis on real-world applicatiions.

In addition to the formal lectures, there will be problem-solving sessions, career discussions, and a variety of social activities.

School format:

The school has four main components spread throughout the week

1. A series of structured lectures given by the five lecturers.
2. Problem-solving sessions based on the topics given in the lectures.
3. Presentations by local experts to open specific scientific problems.
4. A social program to enable and encourage scientific interaction between students, lecturers and speakers.

Here is a link to the School program (as of June 2).

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