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Talking About Tides

Radio Astrobiology: Talking About Tides

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Alien Life
Posted:   01/12/09

Summary: As it orbits a star, a planet can be squeezed and flexed by intense gravitational forces. In this podcast, Brian Jackson explains how this "tidal heating" can help determine whether a planet will have life.

Astrobiology Magazine presents its latest podcast with our host Simon Mitton. In this interview, Brian Jackson, a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellow in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, explores the importance of tidal heating in determining the habitability of planets. Tidal heating, which is generated by orbiting a massive gravitational body like a star or giant planet, can heat up a planet or moon. If there is too much tidal heating, though, the resulting volcanism can create torrid conditions unsuitable for life.

Clicking on the title "Talking About Tides" will launch the podcast program. (Running time 8:27)

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