Where did we come from? Are we alone? The answers to these questions could soon be within the reach of scientific pursuits for the first time in human history. Depending on what's out there—and on our will to find it—we might be standing on the precipice of a golden age of astrobiology. But to truly appreciate our place in the universe, we must integrate fields that have historically stood apart—astronomy and geology, physics and biology—into a planetary perspective of life. In this talk, we'll take Jupiter's moon Europa as an astrobiological case study: how might life have originated there, how would such life continue to persist there, how will we go about finding it, and what does the search teach us about ourselves along the way?
Dr. Michael L. Wong is a research associate in the University of Washingtonʼs Astrobiology Program studying planetary atmospheres, habitability, biosignatures, and the emergence of life. He hosts a podcast called Strange New Worlds, which examines science, technology, and culture through the lens of Star Trek.
CORRECTION: this month’s speaker was erroneously reported in the Sept. Rosette Gazette.