Sukrit Ranjan, Ph.D., SCOL Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ranjan appeared November 28, 2017 on SftPublic's Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations to discuss what might trigger the emergence of life on exoplanets, especially exoplanets around red dwarf stars (also known as M dwarfs). The title of the video of that program is Odd Couple: UV Radiation and the Origin of Life.
Is UV radiation involved in the emergence of life? Dr. Ranjan investigates the possible connection between UV and the emergence of life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. He and other astrobiologists expect that the emergence of life on any planet depends on a number of factors, including an optimal distance from the planet's star, the relative heat of the star, and the necessary chemical ingredients for the formation life. Dr. Ranjan focuses on UV radiation and whether red dwarf stars (M-stars) generate sufficient UV to trigger life. He is investigating several groups of interesting rocky planets associated with M-dwarfs. In this discussion, Dr. Ranjan explains why red dwarfs are of particular interest and what level of UV might be necessary to trigger the formation of life on a planet.