Previous Episodes Refresh
Aug 14, 2020
Gravity Assist: ‘Oxygen is Tree Poop’ – Looking For Life in Ancient LakesAugust 14, 2020
As the Perseverance Rover flies toward Jezero Crater on Mars, which once hosted water, astrobiologists are interested in places on Earth that are similar to the rover landing site.
Aug 07, 2020
Gravity Assist: Gardens at the Bottom of the Sea, with Laurie BargeAugust 07, 2020
Laurie Barge, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studies how plant-looking mineral structures called chimneys grow from chemicals found at the deepest depths of the ocean. In her lab she has glass vials and bulbs full of different chemical mixtures that simulate undersea conditions.
Jul 17, 2020
Gravity Assist: She Protects Other Planets from Our GermsJuly 17, 2020
As we explore Mars and other places in the solar system that might have life, scientists who work in Planetary Protection are busy making sure that we don’t contaminate them.
Jun 26, 2020
Gravity Assist: If They Call, Will We Listen? The Search for TechnosignaturesJune 26, 2020
Jason Wright, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, has been thinking about the different technosignatures we could pick up using the telescopes we already have, and the telescopes that we could develop in the future.
Jun 18, 2020
Gravity Assist: Where are the Goldilocks Stars? With Giada ArneyJune 18, 2020
Giada Arney, astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is looking at the potential for K stars to host habitable worlds. Learn about how stars affect planetary environments and why complex life on early Earth was impossible.
Jun 12, 2020
Gravity Assist: Puffy Planets, Powerful Telescopes, with Knicole ColonJune 12, 2020
NASA astrophysicist Knicole Colon describes her work on the Kepler, Hubble, TESS and Webb missions, and takes us on a tour of some of her favorite planets.
Jun 05, 2020
Gravity Assist: Is Our Solar System Weird? With Shawn Domagal-GoldmanJune 05, 2020
We now know there are more planets than stars in the galaxy. Many of them are very different from ours. How would we know if any of them had life? Shawn Domagal-Goldman, astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses these strange and wondrous worlds beyond our Sun.
May 29, 2020
Gravity Assist: There’s Life Under Ice in Antarctica. How About Mars?May 29, 2020
From diving in Antarctica’s ice-covered lakes to exploring Mexico’s Cave of the Crystals, NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay has been searching for life in a wide variety of extreme environments on Earth.
May 22, 2020
Gravity Assist: Deep Oceans in Deep Space, with Morgan CableMay 22, 2020
Some of the most fascinating targets in the search for life in our solar system are moons of giant planets. Morgan Cable, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses these wondrous worlds, the exotic locations where she has done fieldwork, and the research she has done on the chemistry of life that could thrive on Titan.
May 15, 2020
Gravity Assist: A Special Delivery of Life’s Building Blocks, with Jason DworkinMay 15, 2020
When Earth was just a baby, meteors and asteroids rained down, delivering all sorts of chemicals to our developing planet. These small objects could have delivered the chemicals needed to spark life on Earth for the first time.