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Follow Your Curiosity: The Search for Habitable Environments On Mars

Howard University Department of Physics and Astronomy presents

Dr. Daniel Glavin
Astrobiologist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Follow Your Curiosity:
The Search for Habitable Environments On Mars

In this talk, Glavin will describe the concept of a "habitable environment" and the requirements for life as we know it. Understanding the basic requirements for life and the prebiotic chemistry that led to the emergence of life on Earth will help guide our search for life on Mars. Glavin will also give an overview of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission with an update on the progress of the Curiosity rover and a summary of the analytical capabilities and measurement objectives of the SAM experiment. Curiosity is currently getting ready for the first SAM analysis of the martian soil and will take a step closer to answering the question of whether Mars could have ever supported life.

DANIEL GLAVIN is an Astrobiologist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and is a Participating Scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission. Dr. Glavin first became involved in Astrobiology research in 1996 when a meteorite from Mars found in Antarctica, called Allan Hills 84001, revealed possible remnant of an ancient martian life forms. Although Glavin's research suggested that some of the chemical evidence was compromised by terrestrial contamination in Antarctica, the ALH 84001 discovery energized the Astrobiology community and the red planet continues to be one of the primary targets for exploration and the search for life beyond Earth.

Location: Thirkield Hall, Room 103
Sponsor: Department of Physics & Astronomy
Contact: Dr. Prabhakar Misra
(202) 806-6245
Nov 2012
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