Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published May 29, 2015 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The Cradle of Life and the SKA


We provide an overview of the exciting capabilities of the SKA in the Cradle of Life theme. With the deployment of the high frequency band 5 receivers, the phase 1 of the SKA can conduct headline science in the study of the earliest stages of grain growth in proto-planetary disks. SKA1-MID can map the 2 cm continuum emission at a resolution of 4 au in the nearest systems and therefore begin to probe the distribuion of cm-sized particles across the snow line. This frequency range will also enable deep searches for pre-biotic molecules such as amino acids from pre-stellar cores to the cold, outer regions of proto-planetary disks where cometary material forms. The lowest frequency capabilities of SKA1 can be used to examine the magnetic fields of exo-planets via their auroral radio emission. This gives unique insight into their interiors and could potentially detect exo-moons. Across the full frequency range, the SKA1 will also carry out systematic, volume-limited searches of exo-planet systems for signals from technologically advanced civilizations. The sensitivity of SKA1 means that these only need to be at the level of typical airport radar signals in the nearest systems. Hence, the SKA1 can conduct high impact science from the first steps on the road to planets and life, through areas affecting the habitability of planets, and ultimately, to whether we are alone in the Galaxy. These inspirational themes will greatly help in the effort to bring SKA1 science to a wide audience and to ensure the progression to the full SKA.

Additional Information

© 2015 owned by the author(s) under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Published on: 2015 May 29. We thank R. Gutermuth for providing Figure 4. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. GA acknowledges support from MICINN (Spain) grant AYA2011-30228-C03 (co-funded with FEDER funds).

Attached Files

Published - AASKA14_115.pdf


Files (503.7 kB)
Name Size Download all
503.7 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023