Desika NarayananAre we the only intelligent life forms in the universe? People have long pondered this question with feelings ranging from avid curiosity to abject terror at thoughts of what other advanced civilizations might lie beyond in the cosmos. Can our knowledge of astronomy help us understand the likelihood of the existence of alien life?

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence and understanding the likelihood of the existence of alien life will be the subject of Desika Narayanan’s presentation to the Arizona Senior Academy next Wednesday (April 3) at 3:30 pm.

How many other civilizations could potentially exist in the universe? As a basis of his talk, Narayanan will describe the Drake Equation and the individual components of this equation. The equation was developed to estimate the number of potential civilizations in the Galaxy, and draws on a number of very interesting aspects of astrophysics: star formation, planet formation, and astrobiology. Narayanan will also include a discussion about some ongoing efforts at the University of Arizona to understand the physics of planet formation.

Narayanan, currently the Bart J. Bok Fellow at the University of Arizona, has long been interested in astronomy. He describes himself as a theorist interested in a broad range of problems related to star formation, galaxy formation and evolution, and interstellar material physics.

Submitted by Glenda Tonkin, Academy Village Volunteer


Earth to Universe: Is Anybody Out There?: April 2013
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