Our guest speaker is Dr Emily Hardegree-Ullman, and the title of her presentation is “Outstanding Mysteries in Astrobiology”.
For over half a century, humanity has searched the galaxy for evidence of life beyond our home planet. Despite recent exciting advances in the search for other habitable worlds, we have yet to find any cosmic cousins. Scientists from every discipline are hard at work trying to answer some of the greatest mysteries of astrobiology, the study of the origin and evolution of life in the universe. We know more than ever about the formation of our own solar system and the environment of early Earth, but how does a jumble of organic molecules develop into an organized biological system? Is intelligence an inevitability of evolution, and if life does exist elsewhere, how can we spot it?
Dr. Emily Hardegree-Ullman is an instructor in the Physics Department at Colorado State University. She earned her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she studied the chemical composition of young stellar systems. Emily discovered the fascinating subject of astrobiology while an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. Her prior research projects include searching for methane lakes on Titan, investigating the evolution of protoplanetary disks, and observing extrasolar planet transits.
Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through our large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are usually held the third Friday of each month, except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance.
If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at www.starkids.org