Are we alone? The search for life beyond the Earth - Ian Morrison

24/07/2016

On 22 and 23 October 2015 preeminent UK radio astronomer Ian Morison gave lectures on the search for life beyond earth at YBC gymnasium, Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium and at the International English School. We have received much positive feedback from the schools about the program.

Summary

We can search for evidence of past, or even present, life forms within our own solar system, find evidence of simple life on planets around other stars -- a planet where water could be present has recently be found -- or even detect an intelligent signal from an alien civilization. The speaker was a project scientist in the most sensitive search, Project Phoenix, ever undertaken. Sadly, no signals were detected but a new 10 year search using two of the world's largest radio telescopes is about to begin and, during the next decade, a giant radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, will have the sensitivity to detect alien signals from across the galaxy.

The lectures included a summary of how stars form, die and produce the elements necessary for life to arise, as well as the science of how radio-astronomy works.