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Presented by: Astronomy/UCO Lick Observatory
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 - 7:00pm
Rio Theater - 1205 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Advanced ticket sales end 3 hours prior to event time. Tickets are still available and may be purchased at the door. CASH OR CHECK ONLY FOR TICKETS PURCHASED AT THE DOOR!
Talk title: The search for life on other planets, with an update from the Mars Curiosity Rover
Abstract: Mars Curiosity Rover rover has been operating on Mars for over 200 days. I will present our current status on the search for organics in the soil and the prospects for determining the habitability of the site. If we find organics on Mars, the next challenge will be to determine if they are of biological or non-biological origin. There are other worlds in the Solar System that are also of keen interest in the search for life: my favorite is Enceladus, a small moon of Saturn.
Biographical Sketch: Dr. Christopher P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames. Chris is a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama, Namib, & Sahara deserts to study life in these Mars-like environments. He was a co-investigator on the Huygens probe to Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission (2012).