Living Earths: The Astronomical Answer to “Are We Alone?"

NASA has begun four concept studies of major space observatories that could launch sometime in the coming couple decades. In this fourth in our series on these studies, we discuss the Habitable Exoplanet (HabEx) concept. HabEx is a design for a high

6413 Views | Published on 20th Aug, 2016

NASA has begun four concept studies of major space observatories that could launch sometime in the coming couple decades. In this fourth in our series on these studies, we discuss the Habitable Exoplanet (HabEx) concept.

HabEx is a design for a highly capable observatory with one of the most ambitious and exciting goals: the astronomical search for life-bearing planets in the solar neighborhood.

The discovery over the past few years that stars in the Milky Way may each be orbited by at least one planet suggests that among these numerous planetary systems may reside planets similar to Earth and perhaps even harboring life.

The HabEx concept is intended to be the astronomical community’s response to an age-old question of humanity, “Are we alone in the cosmos?" Such observations require a large pristine optical space telescope, which will also enable a broad range of unique investigations in general astrophysics.

Please join our regular hosts, Tony Darnell, Alberto Conti, and Harley Thronson, as they discuss with Dr. Bertrand Mennesson (NASA JPL), Dr. Scott Gaudi (Ohio State University) and Dr. Rachel Somerville (Rutgers University) the astronomical search for life, exciting new studies in general astrophysics, and the technological advances that will make it possible.

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