The 17th IMPRS Summer School


This webpage provides information for the 17th Heidelberg Summer School on the topic of

Astronomy, astrochemistry and the origin of life

The 17th Heidelberg Summer School takes place August 22-26 in the "Mathematikon", more specifically in the Institute for Computer Science,  IWR.


IMPRS for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD):

Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA); Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK); Center for Astronomy of Heidelberg University, ZAH (Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, ARI; Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, ITA;  Landessternwarte Koenigstuhl, LSW); and Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS).

Scientific organizing committee:   

Alexey Potapov (Jena Univ. / MPIA), Dmitry Semenov (MPIA)

School lecturers:

  Paola Caselli   (MPI fror Extraterrestrial Physics)

  Rob Garrod   (Univ. of Virginia)

  Thomas Henning    (MPI for Astronomy)

  Martin McCoustra  (Heriot-Watt Univ.)

  Alessandro Morbidelli  (Cote d'Azur Observatory)

Scope of the School:

The Origin of Life on Earth is one of the most fascinating questions arising from the studies of our planet, and of the wider Universe.

There are two main hypotheses describing the source of the organic compounds that could have served as the basis of abiogenesis: (1) the in situ synthesis of prebiotic molecules on the primitive Earth and (2) their formation in the Solar Nebula or in its parent molecular cloud, followed by their exogenous delivery onto Earth via asteroids, comets, and their smaller fragments.

The school will be devoted to the exogenous hypothesis leading to the origin of life. We will discuss how astronomy and theoretical and experimental astrochemistry act together to explore this hypothesis, and to go beyond our Solar System in the search for extraterrestrial life and other habitable planets.

Five distinguished invited lecturers, along with an assortment of local experts, will provide an introduction to the field with an emphasis on real-world applicatiions.

In addition to the formal lectures, there will be problem-solving sessions, career discussions, and a variety of social activities.

School format  

Our schools have four main components spread throughout the week
1. A series of structured lectures given by the invited lecturers.
2. Problem-solving sessions based on the topics given in the lectures.
3. Presentations by local experts to open specific scientific problems.
4. A social program to enable and encourage scientific interaction between students, lecturers and speakers.

Further information / registration

Here is a link to the program.

Here is a link to the list of the participants.

Here is a link to the lecture slides and further material (PW-protected).

School 2022 poster

School 2022 poster

Download, print and distribute our poster.

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