Astronomy Live: The Search for Life in the Universe

Part of Astronomy Live

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

An illustration of exoplanet LHS 475 b – almost exactly the same size as Earth - illuminated by a distant sun, on a deep black background of stars. NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak
The search for life in the universe is a top priority for astronomers.

Many observatories are designed with a prime focus of detecting signatures of life from beyond Earth. But what are the best celestial targets and what can current technology reveal about the presence of other life forms in our galaxy or beyond?     

In this Astronomy Live, Senior Museum Scientist Jackie Faherty will lead us on a captivating journey through insights gleaned over the past several years as missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) joined the search for life. Examining the collection of over 5,000 exoplanets discovered to date, we will assess where we are and where we are going in our quest to answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe? 

This program utilizes OpenSpace software supported by NASA under award No NNX16AB93A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.