Lucianne Walkowicz: Let's not use Mars as a backup planet
Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, studying starspots and "the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares." Full bio
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and losing the planet we call home.
we've greatly expanded
within the context of our universe.
around other stars,
of billions of planets in our galaxy.
as planets pass in front of them,
of that light from reaching us.
from their parent star.
whether these planets are small and rocky,
in our own Solar System,
from their parent sun.
these planets that we discover
as we're discovering this treasure trove
under the weight of humanity.
been with us for millennia
in a matter of decades.
changes that we have set in motion
to alter their course.
I'm an astronomer.
as influenced by stars
the places in the universe
life beyond our own planet.
choice alien real estate.
in the search for life in the universe,
you look for planets like Earth,
our own planet itself.
invites a comparison
and the planets we know best:
and though it's a bit far from the Sun,
a potentially habitable world
was habitable in the past,
we study Mars so much.
crawl across its surface,
of life as we know it.
sample the Martian atmosphere,
might have lost its past habitability.
not just a short trip to near space
of living our lives on Mars.
of our own home world,
to ideas about pioneering and frontiers,
we have not colonized
by comparison with Mars.
highest places on Earth,
by our rainforests.
about colonizing Mars and other planets
from the self-inflicted destruction
we know of, the Earth.
to go to Mars,
will be there to back up humanity
telling you that the real party
exploration and planetary preservation
of the same goal:
and improve life into the future.
of our own world are alien vistas.
and maintain habitable spaces
spaces here on Earth,
of both preserving our own environment
asked that, given the fact
for a very long time
are many planets within it,
for alien life by now.
to Fermi's paradox
technologically advanced enough
that advancement to begin with.
that interplanetary colonization alone
and interplanetary exploration
for human habitation,
the far easier task of preserving
ABOUT THE SPEAKERLucianne Walkowicz - Stellar astronomer
Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, studying starspots and "the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares."
Why you should listen
Lucianne Walkowicz is an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She studies stellar magnetic activity and how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life. She is also an artist and works in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound. She got her taste for astronomy as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins, testing detectors for the Hubble Space Telescope’s new camera (installed in 2002). She also learned to love the dark stellar denizens of our galaxy, the red dwarfs, which became the topic of her PhD dissertation at University of Washington. Nowadays, she works on NASA’s Kepler mission, studying starspots and the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares to understand stellar magnetic fields. She is particularly interested in how the high energy radiation from stars influences the habitability of planets around alien suns. Lucianne is also a leader in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a new project that will scan the sky every night for 10 years to create a huge cosmic movie of our Universe.
Lucianne Walkowicz | Speaker | TED.com