Finding Life on Other Planets

Feb 19, 2015

The Kepler mission has found thousands of potentially habitable planets. But how can we truly know if they sustain life?

Shawn Domagal-Goldman is a research assistant of planetary studies at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He says while the Kepler mission finds planets that could contain life, he’s preoccupied with proving they do.

“The question is, now that we’re finding all these planets, how do we find out what they’re like? What are their chemical compositions? Do they have life and what kind of life might they have? We’re just starting to think about what experiments we want to do next.”

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer speaks with Domagal-Goldman about his research, how we might prove there is life on other planets, and how important it is that these other planets are ‘Earth-like.’

Domagal-Goldman will give his presentation, "The Scientific Search for Life on Planets Near and Far," in the Lantz Auditorium in McCollum Science Hall at the University of Northern Iowa at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25.