Do you think life exists beyond Earth? Humans have been pondering this question for centuries, but we’re now closer than ever to finally getting an answer. For fifty years, NASA has been exploring the many planets and moons of our solar system and nearby solar systems in the search for other habitable worlds. In particular, this search has taken us on a long journey exploring Earth’s red neighbor, Mars. Data collected during NASA’s missions to Mars have revealed that this cold, dry, and dusty desert planet once looked a lot more like Earth than it does today. Billions of years ago, the Martian surface had rivers, lakes, and maybe even a global ocean. Indeed, ancient Mars may have had the key ingredients needed for biologic life to form.
Join Smithsonian and NASA scientist Dr. Mariah Baker on a journey to search for extraterrestrial life on Mars using Google Earth Pro. In this workshop, participants will have the chance to explore the Martian surface through the eyes of the many spacecraft orbiting the planet and traversing the surface. These spacecraft have collected tens of thousands of images of the red planet, which have been made available through Google Earth Pro, a program that can be downloaded for free by anyone with a computer and internet access. Workshop participants will learn how to navigate this computer program and will have the chance to act as planetary scientists for the day by using real mission data to study Mars for themselves. They will explore NASA’s landing sites, including Gale crater and Jezero crater, where the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers are currently searching for evidence of ancient extraterrestrial life. Participants will use their new skills and knowledge to help determine whether life could have ever existed on Mars and whether human beings could ever live on Mars in the future.
Students will need:
- A computer and they will also need to download Google Earth Pro: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/#earth-pro
- This should be done prior to the workshop so they are ready to go as soon as we start.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85099869296
This event is open to all ages 11-17 .