2010 programme

Sat 20:00-20:00

Are We Alone? Is Who Alone? Are They Alone?

Dr Charles Lineweaver

Australian National University, Mount Stromlo Observatory

I will discuss the question "Are We Alone?" and review progress in trying to figure out what this question means. Who is "we"? Homo sapiens? "intelligent life"? Life in general? What is life? And what does life have to do with astronomy? As we learn more about the origin and evolution of the universe and about the prerequisites for the emergence of life, the connections between cosmology and biology are becoming more obvious and more quantifiable. Where and when in the universe did the first molecules form? Where and when did the first stars and terrestrial planets form? Where is the liquid water in the universe? Since life emerged early in the history of the Earth, does that mean that life is common in the universe? I will focus on the big picture and summarize our knowledge and speculations about cosmobiology and the astronomical origin(s?) of life in the universe.