The Contribution of Chemistry in the Search for Extraterrestrial Habitable Environments

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute Tasmanian Branch Presents this lecture by Professor Paulo de Souza.
Water is the fundamental substance for life as we know it. In search for life beyond Earth, a number of space missions were designed to collect data, and to grow our understanding of the origin and evolution of life in the solar system. Determining whether conditions that could support life are found somewhere in the Universe is a fundamental question. The strategy adopted by space agencies in the search for life is “to follow the water”. Water (present or past) can be assessed by the characterisation of minerals on the surface of planets, moons and comets; and Chemistry has played a pivotal role in the analysis of minerals. This talk will provide details on instruments developed for missions sent to Mars, from the earliest Viking landers to the most recent Curiosity rover. Key results obtained by these instruments on Martian rocks, soil, dust and atmosphere will be provided. This talk will take you on a journey through the evolution of scientific instrumentation and will be a celebration on the contribution Chemistry has made to the search for habitable environments beyond Earth.
Drinks and light refreshments available – please RSVP to