AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 124 JWST Science
Special Session, Thursday, January 8, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Centennial III

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[124.05] Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life

H. B. Hammel (Space Science Institute), J. Lunine (LPL)

Understanding the origin of the Earth and its ability to support life is a key objective for all of astronomy and is central to the JWST science program. Critical parts of the story include: understanding the formation of small objects and how they combine to form large ones; learning how objects reach their present orbits; understanding how large planets affect the others in systems like ours; and learning about the chemical and physical history of the small and large objects that formed the Earth and delivered the necessary chemical precursors for life. The cool objects and dust in the outer Solar System are evidence of conditions in the early Solar System, and are directly comparable to cool objects and dust observed around other stars. The JWST "Planetary Systems and Origins of Life" key objective is to determine the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems including our own, and investigate the potential for the origins of life in those systems. JWST must provide near and mid IR imaging and spectroscopy to observe these objects.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.