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Filmed on Monday July 24, 02017

Carolyn Porco

Searching for Life in the Solar System

Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco led the imaging team of the Cassini mission to Saturn, which is about to complete its 20-year exploration of the entire system of rings and moons. Porco has authored over one hundred scientific papers and also served as the imaging scientist of the Voyager mission to the outer solar system in the 01980s.

Where will unambiguous signs of life most likely be found outside Earth? While telescopes squint at impossibly distant (but numerous) exoplanets, increasing numbers of increasingly brilliant robots are probing the wildly exotic potential environments for life nearby in our own Solar System. Which ones are the most promising candidates, and why, and what are the plans to check them out?

Is life in the universe a one-off freak, or the norm? If we find just one more instance, we can infer it’s the norm.

Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco became most famous as the dynamic leader of the Imaging Team for the Cassini mission to Saturn, which delivered no end of stunning photos of the planet, its gorgeous rings, and its extravagant moons. (Her team discovered seven new ones.)

Stewart Brand's Summary will be posted shortly.

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