Where is the best place to find life beyond Earth? We often look to Mars as the most promising site in our solar system, but recent scientific missions have revealed that some of the most habitable real estate may actually lie beneath the frozen crusts of the ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Kevin Hand, one of today’s leading NASA scientists, joins us with a thrilling look at the modern scientific quest to delve beneath the ice on these moons and search for life in vast oceans that may be as old as the Earth itself.
With insight from his book Alien Oceans, Hand reveals the latest in planetary science, biology, and the adventures of scientists like himself to explain how we know that oceans exist within outer solar system moons like Europa, Titan, and Enceladus. He shows how the exploration of Earth’s oceans is informing our understanding of the potential habitability of these icy moons, and draws lessons from what we have learned about the origins of life on our own planet to consider how life could arise on these distant worlds. Join Hand for a glimpse of what lies ahead in our search for life in our solar system and beyond.
Kevin Peter Hand is a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has served as deputy chief scientist for solar system exploration and is leading an effort to land a spacecraft on the surface of Europa. He has helped lead expeditions to the glaciers of Kilimanjaro, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and the sea ice of the North Pole.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.