‘Astrobiology’ is a brand new field of science, encompassing research into the origins and limits of life on our own planet, and where life might exist beyond the Earth. But what actually is ‘life’ and how did it emerge on our own world? What are the most extreme conditions terrestrial life can tolerate? And what would an alien actually look like – how realistic are the life-forms envisaged by science fiction novels and films over the years? Join Dr. Lewis Dartnell on a tour of the other planets and moons in our solar system which may harbour life, and even further afield to alien worlds orbiting distant stars, to explore one of the greatest questions ever asked: are we alone…?
Prof. Lewis Dartnell (www.lewisdartnell.com) is based at the University of Westminster, studying how life, and signs of its existence, might survive the intense cosmic radiation on the surface of Mars. He also holds an STFC Science in Society Fellowship, and alongside his astrobiology research writes regular science articles in newspapers and magazines, and has appeared in TV shows such as Horizon, BBC Stargazing Live, and Wonders of the Universe. He has published a popular science book introducing astrobiology, “Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide” (tinyurl.com/LifeInTheUniverse) and also an illustrated children’s book with Dorling Kindersley, “My Tourists Guide to the Solar System” (tinyurl.com/TouristsGuide). His third book, ‘The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch’ (www.the-knowledge.org) is a Sunday Times Book of the Year, and is out now in paperback.
Preceded by the 17th Annual General Meeting of the Flamsteed Astronomy Society, starting at 7pm.