Big Picture Science
June 17, 2019: It's Habitable Forming
There’s evidence for a subsurface lake on Mars, and scientists are excitedly using the “h” word. Could the Red Planet be habitable, not billions of years ago, but today? While we wait – impatiently – for a confirmation of this result, we review the recipe for habitable alien worlds. For example, the moon Titan has liquid lakes on its surface. Could they be filled with Titanites?
Dive into a possible briny, underground lake on Mars … protect yourself from the methane-drenched rain on a moon of Saturn … and cheer on the missed-it-by-that-much planets, asteroids Ceres and Vesta.
Also, do tens of billions of potentially habitable extrasolar planets mean that Earth is not unique?
- Nathalie Cabrol – Planetary scientist, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute
Jack Holt – Geophysicist, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona
Jani Radebaugh – Planetary scientist and professor of geology, Brigham Young University
Marc Rayman – Mission Director and Chief Engineer of NASA’s Dawn Mission
Phil Plait – Astronomer, blogger, and widely known as the Bad Astronomer