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The Search for Life Beyond Earth 

December 14, 2020

Doors: 6:45 PM
Showtime: 7:00 PM
Venue: Chautauqua@Home Virtual Series
Tickets: $15.00 ($12.00 Concert Member)*



The Chautauqua@Home Virtual Series takes place on Zoom and will still capture the elements of a Community House series – a unique presentation by speakers, followed by Q&A from the audience.

The day before each event, ticket buyers will be emailed with more information on how to join.


“Are we alone?” is humankind’s oldest and most profound question, and to date, it remains unanswered. However, we are likely on the verge of solving this mystery. Recent exploration of potentially habitable environments in our solar system has shown a multitude of places that could have hosted life through time.  These span ocean worlds in the outer solar system and many niches on Mars. Further, study of Earth’s life has revealed that it can tolerate far more extreme environmental conditions than previously thought.  

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is en route to Mars and is the world’s first attempt to send a rover to another planet with the goal of searching for signs of past life. In this talk, I will discuss the advancement of our understanding of life on Earth, the many potential abodes for past or present life beyond our planet, and upcoming missions dedicated to the search for the first example of life beyond Earth. 

About the Speaker: Brian Hynek

Brian M. Hynek, Ph.D., is a Full Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics, both at the University of Colorado-Boulder, USA. He also is the Director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Astrobiology. Brian earned a B.A. in Earth Sciences from The University of Northern Iowa, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. His primary research studies are focused on the hydrologic, geologic, and climate histories of Mars. He approaches these problems through geologic mapping, modeling, experiments, and analog studies of similar processes occurring on Earth. He spends a lot of his time traveling the world, whether climbing into active volcanoes and searching for microbes that might be similar to ones that could have existed on Mars or collecting meteorites in Antarctica with NASA. 

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