June Monthly Meeting: Tholins: Nature’s Palette, bringing life to worlds? by Dr Peter Culshaw

The main presentation of our June monthly meeting is titled  Tholins: Nature’s Palette, bringing life to worlds?  by Dr Peter Culshaw (abstract below)

The June 2021 meeting will be a face-to-face meeting; attendees can also join in online via Zoom. Details emailed to members. Guests/visitors can contact us for Zoom details at .

Visitors are welcome to join our face-to-face or online meetings.

Please stay home and attend online if you have:
• fever or symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath);
• returned from overseas in the last 14 days;
• been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19: (coronavirus) in the last 14 days.

Presentation Abstract

The success of Solar System exploration can be attributed to both the major scientific discoveries it has brought and equally its ability to capture the imagination of the public whose support is crucial to maintain ongoing funding for future research.
In large part, it is the wonderful colourful images these probes send back to Earth that captures the public imagination, new discoveries bring new colourful worlds which make for stunning images.
Many of these colourful images are more than just rocky bodies, the rich ‘palette’ of colours is due to these worlds being covered with a range of organic compounds which add this vast array of colours; these compounds are predominantly of a type known as ‘tholins’.
Tholins are found throughout a wide range of Solar System bodies, and their chemistry has some very significant issues for potential life on other worlds. Tholins can break down into a number of the building blocks associated with life such as amino acids and nucleobases.
Whilst we currently have no knowledge of life outside of the Earth, an awareness that these building blocks of life are plentiful in our own Solar System and therefore likely throughout the Universe gives cause to think of the possibilities!



19 Jun 2021


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Parnell Lecture Theatre 07-222


Parnell Lecture Theatre 07-222
Parnel Building, University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4067

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