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Scientific studies of outer space allow us to ask some pretty fundamental questions about our place in the universe. Join us tonight on a journey through space and time as we explore the origins of our solar system and ask ourselves: "Is there anybody out there?" Guaranteed to be out of this world!
Making a Solar System: A Recipe for Worlds
The solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust 4.5 billion years ago. Telescopes allow us to witness the birth of distant stars and planets, but the recipe for our own solar system is recorded in meteorites that were ejected from asteroids and landed on the Earth. By studying meteorites and returned extra-terrestrial samples using cutting-edge analytical techniques we can unlock the secrets of asteroids, and reveal how the raw ingredients came together to form the solar system.
The Search for Life on Mars
One of the most fundamental questions that we can ask is whether we are alone in the universe. This talk will make the case that the best chance of finding life is with Mars. There is compelling evidence that the atmosphere and climate of Mars have affected the distribution and chemistry of water, ultimately controlling the habitability of the planet. The martian rock record provides is longer and cleaner than that of the Earth, revealing changes in the environment over a range of timescales. This talk will discuss the chances of finding life with the ESA ExoMars 2020 rover.