Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is the Universe Full of Life?

In this University of Southern California program, Robert Kuhn hosts a group of distinguished panelists in a discussion of what may lie beyond our world. Humans have long wondered whether life exists beyond our home planet. In recent years, a host of new technologies are turning speculation into science. We now have the ability to discern the atmosphere of an extra-solar planet so distant we can't even see it, to detect the presence of dozens of new planets circling stars similar to our own sun. To top things off, recent discoveries of life in environments on Earth so extreme leads to the belief that it's not unreasonable to imagine that microbes -- or more -- may flourish elsewhere in the Universe. Panelists include: Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, Bruce Murray, professor of planetary science and geology at the California Institute of Technology and Shri Kulkarni, planetary astronomer at CalTech.

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