Space Café Podcast

Lisa Kaltenegger - Nearly There: The Quest for Another Earth - A Conversation with Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute Director

January 16, 2024 Markus Mooslechner, Lisa Kaltenegger Episode 98
Lisa Kaltenegger - Nearly There: The Quest for Another Earth - A Conversation with Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute Director
Space Café Podcast
More Info
Space Café Podcast
Lisa Kaltenegger - Nearly There: The Quest for Another Earth - A Conversation with Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute Director
Jan 16, 2024 Episode 98
Markus Mooslechner, Lisa Kaltenegger

SpaceWatch.Global is pleased to present: The Space Café Podcast #98:  Nearly There: The Quest for Another Earth — A Conversation with Director Lisa Kaltenegger (Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute) 

Episode 098 features special guests: Lisa Kaltenegger

In this enlightening episode of the Space Cafe Podcast, Markus engages in a fascinating conversation with Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University. As a renowned astronomer and leading expert in the field of exoplanet research, Kaltenegger offers a compelling perspective on the search for planets beyond our solar system, particularly those that might harbor life. She delves into the cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that are propelling this quest forward, sharing her enthusiasm for uncovering the mysteries of the universe.

3 Memorable Quotes by Lisa Kaltenegger:

  1. "Every star you see in the night sky could be a sun to someone else. With thousands of exoplanets discovered, the possibility of finding another Earth is not just a dream, but a reachable goal."
  2. "Our work at the Carl Sagan Institute is not just about finding planets; it's about understanding their environments, atmospheres, and potential for sustaining life as we know it."
  3. "The universe is vast and filled with wonders. The discovery of exoplanets similar to Earth is not only a triumph of human curiosity but also a humbling reminder of our place in the cosmos."

List of All Links or Names Shared:

Choice of Music for the Spotify Playlist for the Aspiring Space Traveler:

Send us a Text Message.

You can find us on Spotify and Apple Podcast!

Please visit us at
SpaceWatch.Global, subscribe to our newsletters. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Show Notes Transcript

SpaceWatch.Global is pleased to present: The Space Café Podcast #98:  Nearly There: The Quest for Another Earth — A Conversation with Director Lisa Kaltenegger (Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute) 

Episode 098 features special guests: Lisa Kaltenegger

In this enlightening episode of the Space Cafe Podcast, Markus engages in a fascinating conversation with Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University. As a renowned astronomer and leading expert in the field of exoplanet research, Kaltenegger offers a compelling perspective on the search for planets beyond our solar system, particularly those that might harbor life. She delves into the cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that are propelling this quest forward, sharing her enthusiasm for uncovering the mysteries of the universe.

3 Memorable Quotes by Lisa Kaltenegger:

  1. "Every star you see in the night sky could be a sun to someone else. With thousands of exoplanets discovered, the possibility of finding another Earth is not just a dream, but a reachable goal."
  2. "Our work at the Carl Sagan Institute is not just about finding planets; it's about understanding their environments, atmospheres, and potential for sustaining life as we know it."
  3. "The universe is vast and filled with wonders. The discovery of exoplanets similar to Earth is not only a triumph of human curiosity but also a humbling reminder of our place in the cosmos."

List of All Links or Names Shared:

Choice of Music for the Spotify Playlist for the Aspiring Space Traveler:

Send us a Text Message.

You can find us on Spotify and Apple Podcast!

Please visit us at
SpaceWatch.Global, subscribe to our newsletters. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

[00:00:00] Markus: everyone, this is Space Cafe Podcast, and I'm Markus. Have you ever felt that sting, losing a book you absolutely loved, knowing it's out there, but not where? That's exactly what happened to me some 25 years ago.

[00:00:30] I lent my cherished copy of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, you know, that one book that just means the world to you. Well, it never found its way back to me. I adored it for so many reasons. I mean, Carl Sagan was my hero. Plus, this book was a Christmas gift from my grandparents in 83. I can still picture the inscription they wrote on that very first page.

[00:00:55] And oh, there's this huge ink blot I made when I was just 10, scribbling down my notes about each planet of the solar system. It's funny the details you remember, isn't it? My folks knew all about my Carl Sagan obsession. They even made a deal with me, or I with them.

[00:01:15] Nail an A. for joining me on your exams and you could stay up late to watch Cosmos on television. Let me tell you, I was all in for that. Fast forward to today and I'm about as close as I can get to reliving those moments. On this episode of the Space Cafe Podcast, I'm super excited to chat with Lisa Kaltenecker.

[00:01:35] She's at the helm of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University. And guess what? She's based right in the very office where the great man himself once worked. It's a bit personal, this intro, I know, because Part of me is still that kid who just wants his book back. But don't worry, we're not just going to talk about lost books in this episode.

[00:01:58] We're diving deep into the eternal quest for life in the cosmos and what's up with space exploration in the 21st century. So ladies and gentlemen, buckle up and give a warm welcome to Lisa Kaltenegger.

[00:02:11] Lisa: Thanks for having me.

[00:02:17] Markus: it's been a while. It's, it's been like a couple of years that we, um, we had a video shoot in Vienna. Do you remember?

[00:02:25] Lisa: Well, you know, the key thing is, like, I usually don't count COVID times. So it hasn't been as 

[00:02:30] Markus: It's, it's exactly. 

[00:02:32] Lisa: like somewhere suspended in space. It's before COVID or after COVID. So I think it was before COVID and

[00:02:39] Markus: It was way before COVID. And you know what? And, um, and, um, we talked about your world and blah, blah, blah, but you said something that really stuck with me and that at every party and wherever I go, I would tell that story and I would make myself seem super important and knowledgeable. But it's, it's your wisdom, of course. So it was that amazing story, or how should I say, analogy as to how many stars there are in the universe, um, counting the grains of sand. And this is, this is mind blowingly interesting. Do you mind repeating that story and telling us that story again for our audience?

[00:03:27] Lisa: Well, there is this beautiful comparison, and it didn't actually originate with me, but When you're trying to imagine how many stars are out there, the numbers just become so big that it really doesn't matter anymore, in a way. So bringing it down an everyday example is how I can imagine things. so I love doing that.

[00:03:50] And for the amount of stars that are out there, if you took every grain of sand every beach in the Earth, just imagine what a huge pile that would be. Then those grains of sands are less than they are stars in the cosmos. And what I found so amazing is, or what I find so amazing and so exciting at the time we live in, is that we now know from the discoveries of worlds orbiting different stars, so not our sun, but other suns, other stars, that every fifth star has a planet that could potentially be like ours.

[00:04:35] And just imagine this pile of sand grains. And then most stars have more than one planet. So you have piles and piles of potential other worlds like ours out there in for the first time in human history. We have the tools, big James Webb Space Telescope that launched in December 2021 to now. Explore these worlds and figure out whether or not they are like ours.

[00:05:08] Markus: This drives me crazy. This drives me absolutely crazy. And you told me that story. By the way, do you have a volume setting on your microphone? Can you turn it up a little to give me a little more 

[00:05:22] volume? 

[00:05:23] Lisa: theoretically it should work, but let me just check. 

[00:05:28] Markus: Perhaps, perhaps there's something on the microphone itself.

[00:05:33] Lisa: The setting is just how loud others hear you. 

[00:05:37] Markus: Okay. 

[00:05:38] Lisa: but, um, let me check.

[00:05:41] Markus: But it seems fine, but, um, the

[00:05:45] Riverside FM. Well, yeah, why not? Yeah, exactly. So, so this, this drives me absolutely crazy. And you told me that story like, I don't know, six, seven years ago. So has anything substantial happened between those times when you said that we have the technology ready to find out? If we're alone in the universe until now, has, have things changed? Do we have new knowledge?

[00:06:18] Lisa: There have been huge updates the updates came from a tiny mission that we flew. So last time we talked, we had the NASA Kepler mission that 

[00:06:28] Markus: Mm. 

[00:06:29] Lisa: thousands, 2, 500 new worlds out there. Those are. quite far away from us because it needed to figure out how many worlds there are in the first place.

[00:06:41] like when you're at a wedding and you have to get everybody in the picture or at a party, the photographer has to stand quite far away to fit 

[00:06:48] Markus: Mm. Mm 

[00:06:49] Lisa: the field of view. So, Kepler did the same. So, the stars that it monitored for planets were on the average light years away. That means even light needs, super fast, right?

[00:07:02] Light is the fastest we know. But even light needs about a thousand years to get to us, on average. So what we really needed was to know we're close to us. There could be these interesting worlds because the problem is that the further you're away from a bright thing, like a star, or a planet that the star shines on and reflects light, less light you get.

[00:07:25] So you want the closest stars with the closest planets to be able to probe and check what's in the atmosphere. And if you have a combination of gases that you cannot explain with anything except there's something breathing there. And so the steps, since we met last, were the NASA TESS mission. TESS is a Transiting Exoplanet Survey.

[00:07:53] Survey Satellite, 

[00:07:54] Markus: hmm. Mm hmm. No, 

[00:07:57] Lisa: identified a lot of close by worlds that we can now probe and figure out whether or not they are interesting chemical combinations. And I'm saying that we can now probe because if you take the Earth, the Sun. can actually take the Earth a hundred times next to each other, and that's the diameter of the Sun.

[00:08:19] And I actually tried this out. I got 110 peppercorns 

[00:08:25] Markus: you didn't. 

[00:08:26] Lisa: Yes, I did. It was for my class because I'm teaching 

[00:08:29] Markus: Mm 

[00:08:30] Lisa: and I wanted them to actually get the picture. So I put like 110, uh, peppercorns next to each other to Tell them that this is the size of the Earth compared to the diameter of the Sun.

[00:08:41] Markus: hmm. Hmm. Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha. 

[00:08:44] Lisa: It's really good if the peppercorns have a different color than the floor, just in case you want to do this. But so, the key difference is the James Webb Space Telescope now. 

[00:08:55] Markus: Mm. 

[00:08:56] Lisa: we needed to find planets closer to us, so we could do this, because we could catch more light.

[00:09:02] But then we also needed to have a telescope can actually catch that light. And because the Earth is so small, remember a hundred Earths together about the diameter of the sun? Because the Earth is so small and so tiny, we needed a Big telescope to get enough light. And that's the James Webb Space Telescope.

[00:09:23] It's 6. 5 meters in diameter. And so I always teach my students, I say, like, it's four times me, right? I stand up in 

[00:09:30] Markus: Ha ha. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. 

[00:09:33] Lisa: actually is. That now for the closest stars with their planets can tell us. about the composition of the atmosphere. And even there, it is incredibly hard.

[00:09:46] So don't think like, oh, we take a picture and now we have all the information. It's actually at the verge of Possibility. And the problem is, again, this planet is so small and the close by star is so big and bright. For the first time, it's possible. the data for the first rocky planets has been downloaded.

[00:10:08] But we need more data. You know, this sounds very frustrating, but it's, we are on the way. We got the first data and we're waiting for a little bit more because we have to add up the signal. And I know that sometimes people are like, Oh, we found something. It could be life. It's like, not yet. are very close.

[00:10:24] So you don't have to actually go with the maybes, because we're so close that we just need to wait a little bit longer to tell you, 

[00:10:32] Markus: You're, 

[00:10:32] Lisa: atmosphere doesn't need life. 

[00:10:35] Markus: Lisa, you're, you're giving me literal goosebumps because this is seriously, this is such an exciting moment in time that we're experiencing, because I mean, like, what's your best guess? Because right now we have the technology ready to find out. If we are alone or not, so the pendulum could swing in both directions, right?

[00:10:59] Lisa: It can, but we have a good thing here going. And so the problem is, let's assume we find nothing that doesn't actually say that there's no life out there. That just says that the ones that we looked at close to us happen to not show signs of life.

[00:11:21] Markus: What's close, what's close 

[00:11:23] to us? 

[00:11:23] What does that mean? What's that? What's the radius?

[00:11:25] Lisa: what's the radius? So the radius, I would say like about 50, 60 light years.

[00:11:32] End. Our galaxy is a hundred thousand light years across, so way, way, way bigger. Light needs a hundred thousand years from one side to the other. But our radius of searching to get enough signal from a tiny planet, I would say is about 50, 60 light years. And it depends on which star, which planet, and so on, but roughly.

[00:11:55] So we're really in our Cosmic Neighborhood, maybe our front yard, the front doorstep, right? If you think about the whole environment, but we are able to do the front doorstep and that's the huge, huge difference. And so the really, really interesting thing too is, I was saying, if we don't find something, That means it's probably just less frequent than we thought or that we hoped because if it's everywhere where it could be, can do it right now.

[00:12:26] And we are trying that with the James Webb. But I agree with you. If we were to find life on the planets where we can look for them, it would change the history books the time where humankind did not know or not they were alone. Versus the second epoch, where humankind found out, and you and me, and everybody who's listening, we live in that time.

[00:12:54] Isn't that the most amazing time of exploration you could ever live in? 

[00:12:59] Markus: Absolutely. 

[00:13:00] Lisa: out if we're alone among the stars?

[00:13:03] Markus: Absolutely. Um, I can't remember there was a discovery made last year. I can't remember where. Exactly, that was,

[00:13:12] they discovered a gas that traces back to organic, uh, um, procedure.

[00:13:21] Lisa: Yeah, so unfortunately, and this is why I was talking about, you know, we have to wait a little bit more. I would say, uh, the wish to find life is 

[00:13:30] Markus: Mm. 

[00:13:31] Lisa: prominent, even among the scientific community, that sometimes people are actually grasping at straws,

[00:13:37] Markus: Okay.

[00:13:38] Lisa: you know, with their, uh, full hope that the signal that they're finding could actually be something.

[00:13:44] And in this specific case, um, so when we find signals, and this is why I'm saying we need time. So we have the first data. And so in a scientific world, if you have a signal, It has to be larger than the noise in the background. From the detector, from the star, like everything you do is noisy. If you take a picture in a really dark setting, you see this grey in your picture, right?

[00:14:09] It's just like hard to find anything. And so for astronomers, it's the same. So our rule of thumb, or the rule that everybody agreed on, is that the signal has to be at least three times as big as any residual noise for us to believe it's real. Right? Or to us to say it's real. 

[00:14:26] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:14:27] Lisa: just basically if the signal is actually 

[00:14:28] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:14:29] Lisa: three times, we call it a real signal.

[00:14:32] And what you were, uh, talking about this, this, what went around the world, because everybody's so excited that we could do this, right? Everybody wants to find life. That signal was 1. 2 times the 

[00:14:44] Markus: Mm hmm. Mm 

[00:14:45] hmm. 

[00:14:46] Lisa: you cannot distinguish it from the noise,

[00:14:48] Markus: Barely. Mm. 

[00:14:49] Lisa: wish it were there and you see a tiny wiggle, right?

[00:14:53] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:14:54] Lisa: uh, the question is if, as a scientist, you go all out and say, Oh, I found it. Or if you say, Oh man, damn, we have to wait a little bit longer.

[00:15:04] Markus: Do you, do you actually have like next to your, um, bedside alarm clock, uh, um, a signal ticker, uh, where you get notified if there's something out there? Um, as

[00:15:17] Lisa:

[00:15:17] Markus: because I, on your, on your phone, I guess

[00:15:22] Lisa: mean, like, somebody's gonna call.

[00:15:25] Markus: we got something.

[00:15:27] Lisa: We got something. And the key point is, again, for this, for the search for life, for telling people that we found life, right? We better be right. Carl Sagan had this beautiful phrasing where he said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And that's true, you can always claim that you found life or UFOs or something, but to Make a real claim.

[00:15:54] The evidence has to hold up. so far, none of it has. But we are so close. We just have to wait a little bit longer. And I think this is where a couple of people are just jumping the gun. And it's like, oh, this Wiggle, you know, and maybe, you know, if they have three more years of observing time, that Wiggle might turn out to be real.

[00:16:15] With real scientific knowledge, this Wiggle right now, that, for example, went around the world last year, is a Wiggle. And The problem with other analysis, you can always look at the data, and if another team does it, they can't find it. So that's, uh, but that doesn't mean if we get more data, we might find something super interesting.

[00:16:38] That's what we're waiting for. But of course, I can get it. Like, I would love to just tell you right now that I found life, and that that wiggle that looks like all the other wiggles, but it's just like a little bit bigger, is actually a sign of life. I'd love to tell you, but unfortunately, I can't.

[00:16:55] Markus: That's so fascinating. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:16:58] Lisa: Oh, there's this really beautiful, uh, phrase that, uh, Huxley actually coined, I think, where he basically said, the tragedy of science, the destruction, and I'm rephrasing, but the destruction of a beautiful hypothesis. 

[00:17:15] Markus: Yes. 

[00:17:16] Lisa: fact.

[00:17:17] Markus: Exactly.

[00:17:19] Exactly. 

[00:17:20] Lisa: that.

[00:17:21] Markus: Exactly. I love, I love the game that science plays, that it's all about falsifying what someone claims. And if you don't, if you don't, if you can falsify it, that's, that's in fact what you're looking for. You make a claim, I found something, and if the world cannot say anything against it, you found something.

[00:17:40] Lisa: And I think this is where, you know, a lot of people are like, oh, you know, uh, science is this rigid structure and you know something 

[00:17:47] Markus: Hm. 

[00:17:48] Lisa: That's not what science is at all. Science is this ever evolving structure where somebody says like, well, with the best of my knowledge, I found this and I think this is right.

[00:17:58] And then you you. Are your own worst critic. That's what you should be, right? To make sure that this is actually something that's not just what you wish to be there. And then other teams will help you. You know, help in quotes, but yes, they will help you by trying to find the same thing. And if more than one team finds the same, 

[00:18:18] Markus: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Exactly. Exactly. 

[00:18:23] Lisa: You could have made a mistake in many other things. And so it's actually good to have these other teams verify what you do. so, um, Even though, you know, sometimes I completely get, you know, it's not as fun, because I'm sure that the scientist who discovered life would have wished for nobody else to look at it, so I would still be there.

[00:18:46] Markus: Say, Lisa, what is it actually that we're looking for? What do we mean by life? I mean, like, I guess we're not looking for what the media industry and Hollywood are looking for, the little green men, what is it that we're looking for.

[00:19:05] Lisa: Well, A, I love that the media in Hollywood has actually branched out a little bit, and I think that's due to CGI the costs going down. Because if you remember Arrival, the 

[00:19:16] Markus: Of course, 

[00:19:17] Lisa: kind of octopus looking,

[00:19:18] Markus: that was really good, 

[00:19:20] Lisa: I thought it was really good because it just like had a completely fresh take.

[00:19:24] Markus: yes. Mm hmm, 

[00:19:25] Lisa: author who wrote about it is amazing, Ted Chiang. And then that was the base of the, uh, of the movie 

[00:19:31] Markus: mm hmm, 

[00:19:32] Lisa: basically the idea that we would actually be able to communicate, that anything that would come in terms of alien life would be like us. 

[00:19:40] Markus: mm 

[00:19:41] Lisa: of far fetched. It's very much, uh, in our brain because of the sci fi movies, and most 

[00:19:46] Markus: hmm, 

[00:19:47] Lisa: had to put an actor in that suit for Aliens, 

[00:19:49] Markus: mm hmm, mm hmm, mm 

[00:19:52] Lisa: be able to afford the CGI. Uh, and so Little green man? Very unlikely, I think.

[00:20:00] Markus: hmm. 

[00:20:01] Lisa: But what's really amazing is if you look at the diversity of life on our own planet, how

[00:20:07] Markus: I know, exactly.

[00:20:08] Lisa: it is, right? So when I look at the, uh, newest creature that I find in the deep ocean, I don't think I could have imagined that.

[00:20:17] And that's our own planet. So trying 

[00:20:19] Markus: Ex 

[00:20:20] Lisa: what life is on another planet is way harder and let me just answer very quickly your last question. It's like, what are we looking for? We're not looking at anything that moves because that's not what we can do. Remember hundred times planet, 

[00:20:34] Markus: we can only do a spectral analysis of atmospheres, right?

[00:20:38] Mm hmm, Mm hmm, Mm hmm, Mm hmm Hmm 

[00:20:41] mm 

[00:20:43] Lisa: and light and nature interact. when light, light is energy, you go out, put your hand in the sun, It gets warm. So, when light hits a molecule, so molecules all have a different shape, so for example, water, H2O, 2H10. If light has just the right energy, it can actually make that molecule swing and rotate.

[00:21:07] But you need a different energy to make an H2, so 2H and 1O swing, or an oxygen, that's 2O, right? And so the energy that doesn't make it to my telescope, I can tell you which molecules the light hit on its way to me. And so this is how I can read in the air, what's the chemical makeup of another world.

[00:21:34] without getting there because all I need to do is catch the light

[00:21:40] Markus: hmm 

[00:21:41] Lisa: the universe for free and then I need to figure out if the combination, the chemical makeup of the air of this other planet requires life to be there to work or Not.

[00:21:56] Markus: So ideally, if we find CO2, for example, would that be an indication or is there natural CO2 out there?

[00:22:05] Lisa: Unfortunately, there's natural CO2 out there, and you have to look at Venus. Venus 

[00:22:11] Markus: of course. 

[00:22:13] Lisa: And it brings us back to the question you asked before that I didn't fully answer. You know, science of life. I was saying we're looking for this gas combination, and so what 

[00:22:22] Markus: Mm, 

[00:22:23] Lisa: for is a combination of oxygen, With a reducing gas like methane, with a gas that reacts with oxygen.

[00:22:32] So we know that the oxygen hasn't been sticking around for billions of years and build up, but that something would react with it right now, so I need a big source of oxygen right now. And that's how I identify life as the source of oxygen. But! If you are honest and you look back at our own planet, oxygen only started to build up about 2 billion years ago.

[00:22:59] And so one of the first scientific work I did is try to figure out what the light fingerprint of the Earth through time was. 

[00:23:09] Markus: Mm. 

[00:23:09] Lisa: all looking for modern Earth, which is great. But we know that life has been around on the Earth for a long time, about 3. 5 billion years for sure. And so Could have been more, but we have data from about 3.

[00:23:22] 5 billion years ago that shows us that there are signs of life on our planet, but oxygen only built up about 2 billion years ago. So, what that tells you is that there's a time in Earth's history, and this goes back to your great CO2 question, where there was life, but life made CO2 methane. And those are not unique signs because they can 

[00:23:46] Markus: Mm. 

[00:23:47] Lisa: out, for example, out of a volcano.

[00:23:49] Markus: Exactly. Mm hmm. 

[00:23:52] Lisa: And so there is really interesting planets, but there is no unique way of saying whether this is real life or not. So we are very conservative, if you want, with our selection of oxygen with methane. And I would also like to have some water because life on Earth needs water.

[00:24:13] But! We know we are conservative because it goes back to extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. if we say we found life, we better be as sure as we can be and not just 

[00:24:27] Markus: Mm. 

[00:24:28] Lisa: the CO2 

[00:24:29] Markus: Mm mm-Hmm. 

[00:24:30] Lisa: Or if you think about methane on Mars, There is the exciting opportunity that some of the methane could have been biological, but more than 99%, so one out of a hundred 

[00:24:42] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:24:42] Lisa: might need some life, but 99 of a hundred don't.

[00:24:46] And so while it's much more appealing to hope that actually there's something breathing on Mars that makes the methane,

[00:24:53] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:24:54] Lisa: are, just thinking about it, It's not. And so, we need a real good measure, a measure that we cannot explain with anything but life, to announce life. then,

[00:25:07] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:25:07] Lisa: we have to get the community to stick to it, because of course, this wiggle, being life, is a much cooler thing than, ooh, we don't know yet.

[00:25:16] Markus: Would it make a difference if we had the opportunity to literally go to those places and set foot on the surfaces? Would we find different traces of life, or would the observation of the atmosphere be sufficient for starters?

[00:25:34] Lisa: That depends, right? So, great question. The closer you can go to a planet, Or the more light you can catch, details you can see in the atmosphere. So, for example, there are, um, Freons, that are technology gases, that come out of your fridge. That are a much, much smaller signal than, for example, oxygen or ozone and methane.

[00:25:59] if we could see those, those would be super interesting because we don't know a natural way to make them. And so by getting closer and closer to the planet, you would get more and more information. Or by your telescope becoming bigger and bigger, by you getting more and more time. to look at that planet with an existing telescope, right?

[00:26:22] Because we have to share the James Webb Space Telescope with, for whatever reason, some people care about black holes and galaxies and where we come from, 

[00:26:30] Markus: Boring black holes. 

[00:26:31] Who, who needs black holes?

[00:26:34] Lisa: They're gonna, they're gonna not be happy at the next 

[00:26:36] Markus: Yes, yes, exactly.

[00:26:38] Lisa: But the closer you get, the more you can see. so your question about would it be different if we land, there'll be a subset of planets.

[00:26:48] Where we won't be able to spot life, because life would be in a stage before it produces oxygen and methane. Or it might be subsurface under a frozen layer of ice in an ocean, like we hope on the icy moons Europa and Enceladus that could happen in our own solar system. This is why we want to go there and drill a hole in the ice and check.

[00:27:10] So if you could do that for an exoplanet, you'd have a much wider range of life you would have access to. But because we can't, we're having this conservative way. Going back to what about if we don't find life on an exoplanet? I already gave you a lot of options of 

[00:27:30] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:27:31] Lisa: developed to the oxygen stage yet, life is subsurface and thus the gases are trapped by a huge ice layer that doesn't 

[00:27:38] Markus: Mm 

[00:27:38] Lisa: them into the air.

[00:27:40] So there's a lot of ways where if we don't find life, that doesn't mean it's not there, but if we were to find life. Even in one planet, that would mean it must be everywhere 

[00:27:52] Markus: hmm. Everywhere. Of course. 

[00:27:54] Lisa: are so bad at finding it. You know, 

[00:27:57] Markus: Yeah. 

[00:27:58] Lisa: time ever we can find it and that's huge, but honestly, we're so bad at finding it.

[00:28:03] It's our cosmic doorstep. 

[00:28:05] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:28:06] Lisa: air or on the surface and colored differently for us to be able to catch it. So if we found just one planet with light, that just means it's everywhere.

[00:28:16] Markus: Hmm. It's like, um, it's like with all discoveries, especially also with cosmic discoveries where you at for, for, at some point you discover there's quasar out there, for example, and then you find them everywhere. Um, and then, and, and at some point you find maybe life and then you go like, okay, um, how stupid, um, it's everywhere. So I think maybe it's the lens. That's necessary, that we, we need to find the right lens and have the proper lens and, and maybe know really what we're looking for, because maybe life is, is in our solar system outside Earth. And we just do not know what we're, what it looks like, because it has such a different shape or not only shape, but maybe it's a

[00:29:16] completely different chemistry or whatever it is.

[00:29:19] Thank you. Mm hmm.

[00:29:20] Lisa: Oh, that's exactly true. And this is the other part that I haven't even talked about, right? 

[00:29:25] Markus: Mm 

[00:29:26] Lisa: for oxygen and methane, but what about if life uses something completely different, right? Then what are the gases it uses or it produces? What is the breathing, right? What is the recycling of?

[00:29:36] Which gases should I look for to find life on a completely different base? And there we have the problem right now, that In the lab, we cannot make life from chemistry, because if we could, we could actually change the chemistry and then see what evolves and what it would breathe, right? It would take time, but we cannot even make our own life.

[00:29:57] And I'm just saying that because it's so hard to do, because people are like, Oh, why can't we, right? How do you set it up? Let's just think about the experiment, right? So, okay, you make it warm, like it was an early Earth and you put all the ingredients in and then you. Say, okay, now it needs to make life.

[00:30:17] How long do you let it sit there? 10 minutes? 

[00:30:20] Markus: hmm. 

[00:30:21] Lisa: 10, 000 years, 500, 000 years, right? And once you actually change that dial to another temperature or to another pH or something 

[00:30:30] Markus: Exactly. Exactly. you 

[00:30:31] Lisa: missed it five more 

[00:30:33] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:30:33] Lisa: it would have worked. So 

[00:30:35] Markus: So it's impossible to 

[00:30:36] replicate. 

[00:30:38] Lisa: I don't think it's impossible, but I think it's incredibly hard, and so finding life on other planets, if we can, would also tell us what kind of conditions life could need to get started.

[00:30:52] Because Let's imagine you found life on all planets that were frozen at one point, or that are frozen now. that would tell you, this is all hypothetically, right? Then that would tell you that it needs cold condition. If you found it on planets that were very hot and not on the ones that are frozen, then that indicates that it would need some hot conditions to get started.

[00:31:15] But this whole thing And this is why I wrote this book, right? Because I wanted to share the excitement, but also incredible insights we get from our own planets and what we have to consider, because if you take Earth, it's a gorgeous, gigantic spaceship, if you want. But life could have started in a tiny pocket of that spaceship, somewhere underground, or 

[00:31:40] Markus: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. 

[00:31:44] Lisa: or it started on the bottom of an ocean in a hot vent.

[00:31:48] And then it adapts, because what we know is that life is amazing at adapting to niche environments or to new environments, right? So, trying to figure out what the conditions need to be to get life started in the lab is a much harder question than you initially would think.

[00:32:08] Markus: I'm, I'm, 

[00:32:08] Lisa: I've blown your mind.

[00:32:09] Markus: no, no, you're, you're blowing, you're blowing my mind. Absolutely. Because I feel like it's, it's really interesting that The frustration level amongst scientists is not a lot higher and that scientists still seem to live a healthy life under the circumstances that they are not knowing where everything comes from, why we are, where life comes from, what life is.

[00:32:38] I mean, like that drives me crazy and I'm not a scientist, but there is nothing important. in life on this planet than to find the answer to that simple question, how did it all begin? And it's such a simple question and it's, it keeps escaping us all the time. And as, as you just mentioned, we, we, we cannot recreate it.

[00:33:07] And we are, we're dabbling. We are, we're toddlers on this planet and the planet is laughing back at us.

[00:33:14] Lisa: However, think about it the way I think about it, I think about it differently. our star Is a very normal star. Boring. Kind of. for us, 

[00:33:24] Markus: Hmm. Yeah. 

[00:33:26] Lisa: Our planet, with everything we know now, is a pretty normal planet. Also, nothing special. However, we are looking at the stars, figuring out how a planet works, out how we fit into our solar system and the whole universe, 

[00:33:45] Markus: Yes. 

[00:33:46] Lisa: out to find other life.

[00:33:48] I think that is fascinating and mind blowing to me, that we actually, on a not that special planet, around not that special star, a curious enough species is now. wondering if they're alone. And it only took about 4. 6 billion years, right? What's actually, in cosmic terms,

[00:34:10] Markus: A short 

[00:34:11] Lisa: as bad. And the other thing that I love, love, love about science, and this is where, you know, I completely get your frustration, but science, if you think about it, or if I think about it, like a huge, I would say like a huge fabric that goes like a second sky over all of us.

[00:34:36] And instead of stars, there are ideas and things we discovered that stand in for these sparkling lights.

[00:34:46] Markus: Mm 

[00:34:47] Lisa: And those span from the past far into the future. So I'm using information that other scientists long before me

[00:34:57] Markus: mm 

[00:34:57] Lisa: uncovered. And what I'm finding right now scientists in the future will be connected with to give them the opportunity to find out more.

[00:35:09] And so even though we have only our one lifetime, 

[00:35:13] Markus: mm 

[00:35:13] Lisa: are embedded in this cosmic time. Fabric, if you want, 

[00:35:21] Markus: mm 

[00:35:21] Lisa: makes us be part of this huge, beautiful, big 

[00:35:25] Markus: mm 

[00:35:26] Lisa: the discovery of mankind, of humankind. 

[00:35:30] Markus: mm. 

[00:35:30] Lisa: if it's the discovery of mankind, we're missing more than 50 percent of all good 

[00:35:34] Markus: Exactly. Exactly. 

[00:35:36] Lisa: of humankind, all this connects us. Throughout the globe, throughout time, to me that makes it less frustrating. The vision I have, whether that's right or not, I just imagine, let's say humanity actually is going to make it. We're not going to kill each other, we're actually going to make it, we're going to travel to the stars.

[00:35:59] I'm an optimist by training. I think most scientists are because other than 

[00:36:03] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:36:05] Lisa: make you leave the field about all the stuff you don't know.

[00:36:08] Markus: Mm

[00:36:09] Lisa: Then I envision there to be something like a Star Trek enterprise in the far future, when we have like spaceships that can go to other stars.

[00:36:18] Markus: hmm. Mm hmm. 

[00:36:18] Lisa: I sometimes envision somebody having this antique little map, where it basically showed the cosmos and just the first couple 

[00:36:26] Markus: Yes. Yes. 

[00:36:28] Lisa: that's map we're making right now. We're putting these first places on the stellar map of exploration. And hopefully, in the future, somebody is going to go there.

[00:36:42] I am actually not that altruistic either, because the light goes for free through the universe gives me and all of us a chance 

[00:36:53] Markus: Yes. 

[00:36:53] Lisa: this out without getting there. And that's why I think it's so exciting, this time that we live in. And there's so many things that are going wrong, right, in our world.

[00:37:03] And so I wrote the book because I want to that there's also so many things that are going right that we are actually achieving amazing things that just you're not really aware of, we are reaching for the stars 

[00:37:19] Markus: Wonderful. 

[00:37:19] Lisa: if we're allowed.

[00:37:21] Markus: Mm hmm. Wonderful. Speaking of books, um, Lisa, um, I devoured your first one, Are We Alone in the Universe? I loved that one, um, and it encapsulates pretty much what we're talking about right now. Um, now a new, uh, book is, is it available already?

[00:37:44] Lisa: No, it's gonna be out 16th of April, 2024.

[00:37:48] Markus: Good. And it's called Alien Earths,

[00:37:51] right? 

[00:37:52] Lisa: it is called Alien Earth.

[00:37:54] Markus: Wonderful. Wonderful. So, can you give us a quick, um, insight into what's the gist that you're telling us in that book?

[00:38:07] Lisa: So the first book that I wrote, I wrote in German. 

[00:38:10] Markus: Mhm. 

[00:38:10] Lisa: country, Austria. And I 

[00:38:12] Markus: Mhm. 

[00:38:13] Lisa: they gave me complete artistic control. What is a terrible thing to do, to give to an artist, to give to a scientist, because I was like, oh, I would really like to do this with comics.

[00:38:23] Markus: Mhm. Yes. Aha. Mm hmm. Mm 

[00:38:28] Lisa: There should be one. So I think they really didn't know what they were doing with me, like what they should do, but I love the book. It has comics and it tells the story of our discovery. But I wrote it about 10 years ago. 

[00:38:41] Markus: hmm. 

[00:38:41] Lisa: there's just a new version out of it where I updated the numbers, where I updated the concepts after 10 years.

[00:38:48] So in December, December 14, 2023, this updated version came out. And what was really exciting is it's actually a bestseller and it wasn't a bestseller initially, but it just kind of with the years it got to a bestseller stages and the funniest part is like they forgot to tell me. And 

[00:39:06] Markus: No, 

[00:39:07] Lisa: saw the second cover it was really funny.

[00:39:09] It had this huge thing on it said like bestseller and I'm like I was sending 

[00:39:12] Markus: no, 

[00:39:13] Lisa: like Can we just claim that? Can we just say that? And they were like, no, no, it became a bestseller like two years ago. I was like, 

[00:39:20] Markus: no. 

[00:39:21] Lisa: would be a nice thing to, but they were super sweet. I just, you know, it was just, I think they, it was very funny.

[00:39:27] So that was a bestseller. It was great. But, uh, and, and if you like comics and you, I love the comics that Mandy Fisher made, so I basically really discussed it and she made great comics for that. And so that's the German speaking book and it's only available in German and Italian. So the new book is actually a completely new book that I wrote in English.

[00:39:47] But it actually turns out to be easier because I work in English. And it's The biggest discovery of the last 10 years and where we're going right now. And it's also a bit of a more personal book to take you to this discovery. Like, what have we done? How are we doing it? Like, you know, there, there are stories in it.

[00:40:08] Um, and hopefully, I just wrote it as if I talked to a friend over coffee, and so hopefully that's how people will like it. They have some, we had some first, uh, comments that they liked it a lot. What's really great, because once you write a book, you know, you're like, oh my god, I hope nobody's gonna be like, oh god, what did you do?

[00:40:27] So, so far, so good. But yeah, 16th of April, and then on the 2nd of May, the German version is gonna come out.

[00:40:34] Markus: Wonderful. Under the same title or is

[00:40:37] it called? 

[00:40:37] Lisa: Alien Earth.

[00:40:39] Markus: Okay,

[00:40:39] wonderful. 

[00:40:40] Lisa: emphasize this. 

[00:40:43] Markus: Earth's Exactly. Yes. 

[00:40:46] Lisa: one to learn about our beautiful planet too. Because whether you care about whether we're alone or not, it's completely up to you. But the more of these rocky Earth like planets we find, we'll find some that'll be older than us.

[00:41:02] They will find some that are younger than us, and with every one we find, we'll understand our own planet better, and how to safeguard it. Because in a way, our planet is a gigantic spacecraft, the life support is our biosphere. And we better take care of it, because we only have this one. So, even if we find other planets, there's no planet B, not really, because the distances are just so vast, is what we're 

[00:41:29] Markus: Too vast. Like Venus. Mm hmm. Mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. 

[00:41:36] Lisa: And the way I sometimes, uh, tell my student about this when we discuss it is, let's assume we find 100 other Earths. 50 of them, let's say, are older than us because some stars are older, some stars are younger. And if we were to find, and this is hypothetically again, right, we don't know, but what about if we were to find that all of these older Earths have a lot of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, SO2.

[00:42:02] Comes out of volcanoes. to us, we can't breathe it. That doesn't mean that that will happen for sure to the Earth. But it does mean it would be smart to develop a technology to filter SO2 out of an atmosphere just in case it happens to every Earth. And so, other Earths that are further in their evolution give us a glimpse in our potential future.

[00:42:29] And, like Venus, in the long run. And maybe we actually find something where other Earths did not turn into Venus. And we can learn how we could delay that, because as you said, Um, the Earth will, 500 million years, it will start to get quite uncomfortably hot on our planet and the oceans will start to evaporate.

[00:42:53] Let's not speed that up with climate change. Let's just keep it as long as humanly 

[00:42:57] Markus: Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh Uh 

[00:43:06] Lisa: to keep our planet cool. have to do, we have to start right now because we don't want to accelerate that time pace.

[00:43:14] But the star, our star, the Sun, like every other star, over its lifetime will become more luminous, brighter. So we'll get more light because we're at a certain distance from it. It's like if you're at a bonfire and you're standing at a certain distance, if somebody puts like more fuel into it, no more fuel, but the fusion in the core of the Sun is just a little bit different over time, then it will get hotter where you stand.

[00:43:41] That happens to every star. Let's get back to this. Isn't it amazing that we actually look up at the stars and figure out our place in the cosmos? This is, we know that this will happen to our Sun only because we looked at the thousands of other stars and figured out how the evolution of a star works.

[00:44:03] Because we know how the Sun was born and we know how it will die because we saw other Suns at different ages and we puzzled together the evolution of a Sun, like our Sun. And we'd like to do the same for the Earth so that we have more insight into how an Earth evolves. What's happening, what it can do, and so I root for us because our curiosity has already given us so much insights into how we fit in this cosmos, how our sun will work.

[00:44:35] I think we can figure this out. I think we can save ourselves, and I think we can travel among the stars. We just have to figure out that that's the important thing to do. And I think this is where we have a little bit of time that we need to learn where our priorities really should be.

[00:44:53] Markus: Wonderful. Do you think, this is super hypothetical, but nerve wracking at the same time for me. Do you think it's possible that the Voyager space probe will still travel into interstellar space after the exit of Earth from existence.

[00:45:16] Lisa: Absolutely. 

[00:45:18] The 

[00:45:18] Markus: I mean, like, just imagine,

[00:45:20] Just

[00:45:20] just, imagine we have human, we have leftovers from human civilization without the human planet anymore around.

[00:45:31] Lisa: That will for sure happen.

[00:45:34] Markus: That's crazy.

[00:45:35] Lisa: But the question is what we can work on. And we have six billion years until that. So we have time. Okay, so 

[00:45:43] Markus: Okay. 

[00:45:43] Lisa: who's listening to this, don't 

[00:45:45] Markus: Don't rush it. Hehe. 

[00:45:46] Mm hm. Mm hm. Mm hm. 

[00:45:50] Lisa: become uncomfortably warm. Until the sun becomes so big that it could swallow the earth, we have six billion years.

[00:45:59] We have time. Billion is a huge amount, but you know, it's good to start thinking about things. but what is amazing to me is that we have the opportunity. We don't have to go down with the cradle. And there's this beautiful expression that earth is the cradle of humanity, but a child doesn't always live in the cradle.

[00:46:21] It evolves and it goes away from the cradle. It travels. It can travel the stars. And so, I love that analogy for us, that the Earth is our home, absolutely, but it's mostly the cradle of humankind. so, hopefully, as you were saying, Voyager keeps going. The cradle might not exist anymore, humanity might, maybe on giant spaceships that travel between the stars.

[00:46:48] they are, of course, reboring heavily from sci fi, I do have to say, like, I saw, um, that, uh, I saw this movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Stars. 

[00:47:01] Markus: Mm hm. Mm hm. 

[00:47:03] Lisa: of a Thousand Planets. What's it called? City of a Thousand I'll look

[00:47:10] it up. Uh, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, where they basically have this ginormous spacecraft envisioned. And that ginormous spacecraft envisioned basically a conglomerate of so many different worlds together. And I think, you know, that would be a kind of interesting city to live in.

[00:47:30] Lisa, why don't you tell me a little bit about the Carl Sagan Institute that you're the director of? Um, have you ever met Carl Sagan, by the way?

[00:47:43] Lisa: I actually never met Carl, and I think it'd be really great to run into him. We have like a small coffee kitchen here, and when he was a professor here, that's, you know, he would hang out at the coffee place, as they do in every normal, uh, I think in every normal workplace and we chat 

[00:48:00] Markus: Mm hmm. Mm 

[00:48:01] Lisa: found, um, when I got here, uh, Kyle was no longer with us, 

[00:48:07] Markus: hmm. 

[00:48:08] Lisa: in his office.

[00:48:08] So what you're seeing 

[00:48:09] Markus: Wow. 

[00:48:10] Lisa: office. So 

[00:48:11] Markus: Wow. 

[00:48:12] Lisa: same view. Uh, I assume that the trees are just a little bit bigger and 

[00:48:17] Markus: Huh. 

[00:48:18] Lisa: know, the fashion is a little bit different. It's actually beautiful to think sometimes, you know, when I walk in and there's so many stuff that's coming on, 

[00:48:26] Markus: Mm. Mm 

[00:48:27] Lisa: teaching and stuff.

[00:48:28] And the day's becoming crazy that I think everybody can, can understand what 

[00:48:33] Markus: hmm. 

[00:48:33] Lisa: days are like. When you just stop for a minute and say like, he just looked out this window, the time to think about our place in the world. And why 

[00:48:43] Markus: Crazy. Crazy. I mean, like, Carl Sagan was so visionary back in the day. I think we haven't We haven't caught up with his visionary mindset, still, in the 21st century. He was, or maybe, maybe, there was a pocket in time where the whole space science world was a lot further when it comes to having visions beyond economic. visions that we are having right now, because I think what we're doing at the moment is we're setting up shop for space commercialization, mostly. Um, but I think he was, he allowed for the crazy thoughts. The crazy cities in the atmosphere of Venus and the crazy spaceships, and do you, is, is it your task to guard that spirit of his, um, and to bring it into the 21st century?

[00:49:55] Lisa: I think currently, what you hear about space has a different component to it, the commercialization that you were talking about, right? Commercialization. In the academic world, There's always these new ideas, these new thinking, this research that's going on. And sometimes it's going into a direction that we find out is completely wrong.

[00:50:18] Sometimes it's going in a direction where we find out it's like, Oh, that visionary is actually true. And so that is still ongoing. I just think what he was so amazing at is to communicate this. he basically shared this vision with the world. when I. Got hired by Cornell when I got the call if I would consider coming here.

[00:50:41] They did ask me So what will it take for you to come? And I was like, well, I really think we cannot find life on another planet if we just do it from astronomy So we have to put different minds together from biology, from chemistry, from engineering, from you name it To not miss signs of life that they out there it was pretty funny because I said well If you think that's 

[00:51:05] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:51:06] Lisa: do you'll have to build it That's how the Carl Sagan Institute started because I basically got here and I convinced thinkers from all different departments to together try to figure out what we need to do to find life in the universe.

[00:51:23] we have about 40 professors and researchers from 15 different departments here 

[00:51:32] Markus: Interesting. Mm-Hmm. 

[00:51:33] Lisa: month for coffee. That's the way I set up my institute.

[00:51:37] Markus: Mm-Hmm.

[00:51:37] Lisa: we basically meet for coffee and we discuss, about an hour, all the different ideas we have together. So, you know, small groups, first together, everybody meets, and then will actually meet individually, of course, too, to actually develop these projects.

[00:51:54] But I think of the Carl Sagan Institute as a kind of think tank, new ideas get put into the mix, and then some of them will actually Be crazy and won't work out, as science always has these, and some of them will be just crazy enough to open a new path toward something amazing that we couldn't have envisioned before in our kind of silos of disciplines.

[00:52:20] Because it's normal, when you are an astronomer, you get taught a certain way and you think about the world a certain way. you're a geophysicist, it's completely different. Also, one certain way, the way you're trained. so, bring these views together, or add a chemist, a biologist, and so on and so forth.

[00:52:37] And all of a sudden, you get a new view of an old problem that, with this new view, all of a sudden becomes solvable, 

[00:52:45] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:52:46] Lisa: other ways to actually get around the problems you saw that hindered your progress. And that's exactly what the Carl Sagan Institute is. And I've been only talking to you about, like, I've only mentioned the professors and researchers, but it's actually from undergrads all the way to the most, uh, the emeritus professor that you can envision in your head that has, I don't know, done millions of things and is known all over the world.

[00:53:11] And they're all together and they all discuss. And so it's not just everybody's quiet and lets this professor speak,

[00:53:17] Markus: Are 

[00:53:19] Lisa: in. think in the U. S. it's just a little bit easier to do that because people have less of a hierarchy structure their thinking at a university. So it's easy to throw undergrads in and say like, oh, what do you think?

[00:53:33] And then the first time they go like, oh, and then they say something 

[00:53:36] Markus: you asking me? 

[00:53:38] Lisa: I'm just saying to it and they know what they're in for. And I do have amazing coffee machines and espresso and dark chocolate and some other things. And so it's a little bit easier if you put on the spot to not just freeze.

[00:53:53] Markus: That's extremely inspiring. There's only one place I can think of where some of this mindset is prevalent in Europe and that is, there's a tiny place at CERN called Idea Square

[00:54:10] and Idea Square is sort of crazy, the crazy kitchen where any thought is allowed. That helps particle physics to move further. And so once or twice a year, they bring in science fiction authors to discuss together with particle physicists, um, to cook up crazy ideas. And maybe some of those crazy ideas lead to something. So maybe this is the mindset that you are referring to.

[00:54:50] Lisa: I'm just really curious about the world in general. And if you hand me the reins to an institute, as they foolishly did here, what the Institute is going to do, right? I'm just going to ask questions in all different directions and see what interesting answers come out and how I can fit them into my research.

[00:55:08] luckily, that seems to resonate with a lot of other people here too. And so these are the people who will meet, these are the people who will discuss, and these are the new avenues we find to actually address some of these problems. Because finding life on another world has so many components, so many puzzle pieces.

[00:55:30] And we don't even have all of them yet. Like when I did my first research about how would the. Light, the spectral fingerprint, the light fingerprint of the Earth changed through time. You know, we knew it had life, but there are no unique signs initially, and then about two billion years ago, it comes on.

[00:55:49] was one puzzle piece in millions of puzzle pieces. What I love about science, too, is that we get trained to break a hugely complex problem down to smaller, manageable pieces. And then we solve these, and we put them back into the huge overall puzzle. And as you talked before about, there's so much empty space, even now, that sometimes it gets really frustrating.

[00:56:15] But if you think about it as this dark canvas of space, and these ideas that basically stand in for the stars, it's actually great to put one in there, 

[00:56:27] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:56:27] Lisa: one, and another one, that will then build the basis. are filling in the bigger picture.

[00:56:35] Markus: Is there maybe, um, an interesting tangent you discovered through that interdisciplinary approach that you just mentioned, um, where maybe an unusual person in the room had an interesting thought that led to an interesting idea. Is there something you could share?

[00:57:00] Lisa: Oh, there's a lot of times that that actually happens. 

[00:57:04] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:57:04] Lisa: what we're trying to encourage, right? um, for example, and this is just an example that involves, uh, by chance, me and a colleague of mine from the geophysics department, the temperature of a planet depends how far or how close it is to its star, right?

[00:57:22] Markus: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Hmm. 

[00:57:26] Lisa: that we call lava worlds. Lava worlds are so close to the stars. There's some of them only need. 18 hours go around the star. So the year is 18 hours long. So crazy close. That we know it must be so hot. They're small, so they're rocks, but it must be so hot.

[00:57:46] They are magma oceans on top of that world. And so we were like, well, but what are those magma motions? oceans made out of, right? You can't go and get a sample. It's too far away and it's also way too hot. Everything else will mend. So then we started pinballing ideas. And from that idea, we developed the Lava World Lab here at the Carl Sagan Institute.

[00:58:09] And the Lava World Lab is actually generating tiny lava worlds out of different material in the lab. And then we measure what they would look like. And the idea is to generate basically a database How would a lava world that's made of basalt look like to my telescope? How would a lava world made out of granite?

[00:58:28] Or any crazy kind of combination that you could think of, right? That's scientifically possible. We're not going for crazy crazy, we actually do an educated guess. And then we say, okay, this is the range of what it would look like to the James Webb Space Telescope. And that's a critical piece to figure out what these worlds are made out of.

[00:58:48] But it started with the idea of like, how can I get a sample from that lava world when I can get there? And so that's how pinballing ideas that might sound crazy, lead to real applications that will actually help us, that help us right now, understand these other worlds out there.

[00:59:05] Markus: Fascinating. Now, as we're venturing into a new era, Um, as humans on a technological level with artificial intelligence, um, becoming ever more prevalent in whatever we do. Is this also something that helps you in your work? Helps you

[00:59:31] with discoveries? 

[00:59:33] Lisa: Absolutely. I see it as a tool. Think about it this way, or the way I think about it

[00:59:38] Markus: Mhm. 

[00:59:38] Lisa: uh, we first had pencil and paper, and we 

[00:59:41] Markus: Mhm. 

[00:59:41] Lisa: hard way. came, you know, the calculators, the first computers,

[00:59:45] Markus: Mhm. 

[00:59:45] Lisa: now AI, or Artificial Intelligence, or machine learning, right, it's basically similar technology wise, 

[00:59:53] Markus: Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. 

[00:59:56] Lisa: to get to the answer faster, to understand statistical samples faster, to see patterns faster.

[01:00:04] We can train it to do it faster, and this is the same as, you know, pencil and paper, calculator, computer.

[01:00:12] Markus: Mhm.

[01:00:13] Lisa: And so in my point of view, uh, it's a tool, it's a tool you need to understand and use well, because you can apply a tool and find things that aren't there. So you have to understand what your tool is doing, and you have to train it well.

[01:00:31] Because you can give, like, some kind of weird thing to a computer, it will spit 

[01:00:34] Markus: Mm. Mm. 

[01:00:35] Lisa: and it will make no sense. But if you don't know that it doesn't make no sense, you're like, ooh, I found something. And so, the key thing with every new tool, whether it's machine learning in an AI, or anything else, is to understand what it's doing.

[01:00:51] In the scientific mind, I think, I think for everybody else too, like, for example, there's this big debate going on right now about whether we can use things like ChatGPT, right, 

[01:01:02] Markus: Mm. 

[01:01:02] Lisa: information on the web. think it's an amazing tool if you know where the information came from, 

[01:01:10] Markus: Exactly. Mm. 

[01:01:11] Lisa: bad information on the web, 

[01:01:12] Markus: Mm. 

[01:01:13] Lisa: And so taking it for is A path that will lead you to disaster, but if you understand what it's doing and you actually can constrain, like just use these sources or so on. And so I see it as a new tool that we have. and akin to a new telescope that gives us more information, more data, thus we see new things, it allows us to actually go through the data faster, 

[01:01:43] Markus: Mm. Yes. 

[01:01:45] Lisa: faster, and then follow up.

[01:01:49] Markus: I think, um, I think we, we're used to being cautious with technology. I mean, some of us, maybe.

[01:02:00] We're not taking, we're not taking, we're, we're educated. Maybe some of us, or hopefully, um, many people, um, that we shouldn't take social media. Um, for real, um, social media is not what the world is. Social media is a bubble of emotions driven by algorithms. So maybe if we apply that understanding also to how we use artificial intelligence in science. Maybe then we're, we're safe, we're good. It's, it's a fail safe approach we should be taking that this new tool It's not perfect, but it's useful. And if we understand its weaknesses and its challenges connected to it, then why not use it?

[01:02:58] Lisa: I think also, just to extend to what you're saying, we also have to teach. weaknesses and it's challenges, because, you know, if you let a student just use it, who has no idea how to use it, they will get an answer out. It's 

[01:03:11] Markus: Yes. 

[01:03:12] Lisa: ask the internet something, you will get an 

[01:03:14] Markus: Yes. 

[01:03:14] Lisa: or wrong, it's hard to say.

[01:03:17] so, we have to teach, I completely agree, we have to teach how to use it best. The algorithms themselves. Yes, they're much better now, right? But they are based on, uh, except for the genetic algorithms, but let's say the normal machine learning algorithms are based on, so you can understand what they're doing and you can also understand how they're doing things,

[01:03:42] Markus: Mm. 

[01:03:43] Lisa: And you don't understand the full scope, but you have to understand the basics of what it's trying to do and 

[01:03:48] Markus: Mm. 

[01:03:49] Lisa: the problem. so, for example, we just published, just about two years ago, with one of my undergrads. We said, could you use machine learning to find, um, kind of reflection patterns?

[01:04:02] So, could you use machine learning to find water on another planet? Could you use machine learning to find biology on another planet? And the way you go by that is to say, a green tree reflects different than brown sand, and water reflects different than dirt. And so, I look at a spectra that's combined of clouds and atmosphere and rocks and everything else, right?

[01:04:29] It's really hard for my brain to find the pattern that says, this is water.

[01:04:35] Markus: Mm.

[01:04:35] Lisa: really not hard for machine learning algorithm that I 

[01:04:38] Markus: Mm. 

[01:04:39] Lisa: what it looks like 

[01:04:40] Markus: Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. 

[01:04:43] Lisa: And what we did is they are different machine learning algorithms. So what we did is we just used 10 of them and figured out which approach some of them do like, you know, they just do things differently, which approach was the most effective for what we were trying to find.

[01:05:04] And so in that respect, by testing it out. By figuring out which one is the most appropriate for the question you're asking, you can actually use this tool very effectively. And we found that it actually is very useful if you want to find some patterns 

[01:05:21] Markus: Mm. 

[01:05:22] Lisa: spectra in the reflection of light. 

[01:05:24] Markus: Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm. 

[01:05:32] Lisa: paper. You can use machine learning. You just have to know what it does. That's how it does it, so that you are aware when it makes mistakes, because you are, in the end, responsible to use it responsibly.

[01:05:49] You know, there will always be some things that slip through, this is where other scientists have to find the same thing, they can find out that there was an error, or there was something that we didn't realize, right? What's always okay, it's on the edge of science. You make mistakes, this is how you learn.

[01:06:07] I think the quote is attributed to Einstein and says like a wise person only makes the same mistake once. So make your mistake, learn from it, make a new mistake. Don't make the same one again and again and again is basically what I'm taking from that. And it's also absolutely okay to make mistakes because if you never make mistakes, you're never leaving your comfort zone of knowledge.

[01:06:28] And so how are you going to ever find anything new?

[01:06:32] Markus: Absolutely. Are you using Chat. GPT.

[01:06:36] Lisa: I actually do. I do use JetGPT, but I use this version, uh, that actually has references. Where, so 

[01:06:44] Markus: Ah, yeah. Where, where the information, like, where the information comes from.

[01:06:49] Mm 

[01:06:49] Lisa: I do not, because this is the problem with the web, right? 

[01:06:52] Markus: mm 

[01:06:53] Lisa: tested it out because I thought it was fascinating. 

[01:06:55] Markus: Mm 

[01:06:56] Lisa: by new things. Like, I, told you I was curious by nature and I think that's one of the things that scientists

[01:07:01] Markus: mm mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:02] Lisa: in common. So I was like, Oh, I want to try this.

[01:07:04] Right. And so I asked it a question 

[01:07:07] Markus: Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:08] Lisa: was really good. But for things, for example, I asked it, what happens at the end of a star's lifetime? And there are three different things that can happen depending on how massive the star is. And it got, it only found two. So it got 

[01:07:23] Markus: Mm mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:24] Lisa: wrong.

[01:07:25] is 

[01:07:26] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:26] Lisa: because it basically looked at the internet and the internet has a lot of 

[01:07:29] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:30] Lisa: wrong, right, on this. 

[01:07:32] Markus: Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:33] Lisa: sites that are wrong on the 

[01:07:34] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:35] Lisa: Um,

[01:07:36] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:36] Lisa: found it interesting, super interesting. But again, you have to test out where it actually finds the right answer and where it doesn't.

[01:07:44] And the problem is For some of the things, you just cannot know, right? Because if it's something you don't know, like I tested 

[01:07:51] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:52] Lisa: I know, 

[01:07:53] Markus: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:54] Lisa: I was waiting for the reference part. Because if the information now comes from NASA, I'll trust it on astronomy. If it comes from, I don't know, RuduRudu, like, or conspiracy.

[01:08:08] com, right, I will know that probably that's not something I should put my stake in. But this is where I think it's critical. You need to know where information comes from, always. that gives you confidence in what you find. And if you can't have that confidence, if somebody doesn't tell you where the information comes from, a red flag,

[01:08:29] Markus: How do you, do you deal, because you're talking about your students, um, how do you deal with chat GPT and education? Um, because this is a huge thing. Um, do you still, can you still do written exams or expect written exams? And how, because I feel like that this is changing. Um, the way we teach and educate, um, our students, our children, and to be super honest, I've been waiting for that moment all my life that the educational system gets a kick in the butt to, to change and to adapt and to innovate and to move into a more, um, individualized way of, um, educating and teaching, because still we do it like we, we treat children and students. It's all the same and we've, we've known for, for, for too

[01:09:31] long that that they're not, and this is just not the right way to do it. So maybe AI is now the kick in the butt to rethink AI. Well, that forces us to rethink the educational system. So to cut that long story short, that long intro short, how do you deal with chat TPT and AI and LLMs in education when you have to teach and exam and, and, and, and give exams of course.

[01:10:02] Lisa: Well, the thing, uh, that I do is I have one of my harm first homeworks is use JetGPT find some answers and then tell me which ones are right or wrong.

[01:10:13] Markus: So you do it proactive.

[01:10:14] Um, Uh, Um, Um, 

[01:10:18] Lisa: that some of the answers are wrong and I need to teach them how they can figure that out. Because the problem is that.

[01:10:25] Of course, coming in and not knowing much about it, they use it as gospel. Right? This is 

[01:10:30] Markus: Of course, Of course. 

[01:10:32] Lisa: so what I need to do, I think, as an educator, need to break the idea that whatever comes out of GEPT is right. Then I need to teach them how to verify the information, how to figure out which is right and which is wrong.

[01:10:47] And I think in the sciences, we have a much easier way to do that. I have no idea how my college in the English departments or in other language 

[01:10:55] Markus: Um,

[01:10:55] Uh, Uh, Um,

[01:10:57] Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, 

[01:11:03] Lisa: scripts, right, or beautiful stories. And so I, I do not know how are they going to deal with that.

[01:11:07] So I think I understand that that is a huge problem. And uh, I think because the technology is so new, we don't really know yet how to do it. But in science, there is, uh, a right or wrong, right? There's lots of things we don't know. And so I took the approach that I say, okay, use the tool, understand it's a tool with limitations.

[01:11:32] And so use it. But now you have to explain to me why you can use it, if it's correct. And then, actually, if you have no references in ChatGPT, it is more work to figure out 

[01:11:45] Markus: Exactly. 

[01:11:46] Lisa: says is actually right 

[01:11:47] Markus: Um, 

[01:11:47] Lisa: doing it yourself and going to the 

[01:11:49] Markus: Yeah, 

[01:11:49] Lisa: and check it, right? So, uh, these are just things, some, some pearls of wisdom that they get with the first homework.

[01:11:56] And then, uh, I will let them use, uh, I generally will let them use ChatGPT. The exams are generally in person here and 

[01:12:06] Markus: Um, 

[01:12:06] Lisa: computers, 

[01:12:08] Markus: Those oral, oral exams?

[01:12:09] Lisa: no, it's actually written, but, 

[01:12:11] Markus: Okay, 

[01:12:12] Lisa: don't let them use computers generally.

[01:12:14] Markus: Okay. Um, Uh, Um, 

[01:12:17] Lisa: the way that I'm approaching my classes is, as we were just talking about before, what you were just mentioned about, like, you know, uh, specific education, they know how they can verify or get good information on chat at TPD, or, or, you know, then.

[01:12:33] What I love about it is to say, you can start TPTs, explain it like to an 8 year old, a 12 year old, a 20 year old, because most of my students, like, we have a really, we generally have a very open report, but I can understand that if you don't understand something, right? You don't necessarily want to go to the professor and say, like, I have no clue what you were talking about.

[01:12:55] So I give them the chat TPT option so they can like, okay, supernova, explain it like to an 8 year old. Anchoring your knowledge. Explain it like to a 20 year old. Explain it like to a scientist. And I 

[01:13:07] Markus: Um, Um, 

[01:13:08] Lisa: to me personally, is the opportunity we have in teaching our kids. Like, I 

[01:13:13] Markus: Absolutely. 

[01:13:15] Lisa: If, we still need a teacher that teaches things, right? That does not, we need a focal point for the classroom. But you can help people because some kids will be at this level, some kids will be at 

[01:13:26] Markus: Um, 

[01:13:27] Lisa: level, in different topics, at different levels.

[01:13:29] Markus: Um, 

[01:13:29] Lisa: And having An additional AI teacher

[01:13:34] Markus: Mm, 

[01:13:35] Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm. 

[01:13:40] Lisa: in or above without, um, the feeling of, Ooh, I should know this, but I don't, and I don't want to ask, you know, that's so prevalent when they become teenagers.

[01:13:49] What I get, you and me went through the same thing, right? It's just like, at one point you're like, I have no idea what's going on, but I 

[01:13:55] Markus: Exactly. 

[01:13:56] Lisa: because everybody's going to think I don't know. And that's where I see the opportunity, but.

[01:14:01] Markus: Mm. 

[01:14:02] Lisa: I also get that it's hard, especially you happen to teach and you are not that comfortable with new technologies, right?

[01:14:10] Markus: Mm. Exactly. 

[01:14:11] Lisa: not something that people were taught. So now you have a lot of teachers that were taught a certain way, and a new technology that can potentially help a lot, but can also 

[01:14:21] Markus: Mm. 

[01:14:22] Lisa: the old way of doing things. So I get that it's a huge problem. In the university setting, my classes, because we're in science, I can use it proactively, and I hope it actually helps my 

[01:14:36] Markus: Mm. 

[01:14:36] Lisa: to learn what I want them to learn.

[01:14:39] Markus: Wonderful. Lisa, back to the alien worlds, where and when? Um, next five to ten years, um, where should we look? Where do you look? Where do you expect the, the hotspot of potential discoveries?

[01:14:57] Lisa: So basically, where are we already looking? I'm part of the James Webb Space Telescope, uh, team for what's called the NEAREST instrument. It's a Canadian instrument. basically, we're looking at the system called TRAPPIST 1. 

[01:15:09] Markus: mmm, 

[01:15:10] Lisa: a small red star with seven Earth sized planets around it, three of those are within what we called before this just right zone, the 

[01:15:19] Markus: mmm, 

[01:15:20] Lisa: zone.

[01:15:21] And so those are the focus of our current observations with James Webb. The problem is we need a couple of years to get enough light 

[01:15:31] Markus: mmm, 

[01:15:32] Lisa: to actually have enough data that I cannot just 

[01:15:34] Markus: wow. 

[01:15:35] Lisa: wiggle is live. Even so, I would wish I got to say that. I was like, I don't know how my training actually made it.

[01:15:41] So I can't, I wish I could follow my colleague and just say, Ooh, found something super interesting, but we'll have to wait 

[01:15:50] Markus: How, 

[01:15:50] Lisa: comes out of the noise.

[01:15:53] Markus: um,

[01:15:54] how long would, yeah,

[01:15:55] Lisa: if that system. actually has signs of life. Let's assume that, right? Let's just assume that. Then we're talking about two to three years we have enough data that we 

[01:16:07] Markus: wow. 

[01:16:08] Lisa: least the first settings.

[01:16:11] But

[01:16:11] Markus: is, this is exciting.

[01:16:13] Lisa: I think it's amazing, you know, and then there's still gonna be like lots of things where people are like, oh my god, maybe this is something else, and then we'll learn, right? And then we'll learn, and we'll learn more about these planets, but if life is everywhere, it can be, then we have a real shot of this within the next five years.

[01:16:33] Markus: Lisa, I guess you'd be the first then to board a ship, maybe Starship, and go to Trappist 1. How long would it take you to get there?

[01:16:41] Lisa: Actually, no. 

[01:16:42] Markus: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, 

[01:16:48] you 

[01:16:49] Lisa: of other worlds. Because I love the planet I have here and I love my family and friends. I would not want to leave them alone because the distances are fast. 

[01:16:59] Markus: Yeah. 

[01:17:00] Lisa: technology is really bad.

[01:17:02] Markus: Yes. 

[01:17:02] Lisa: need about six months to Mars. 

[01:17:05] Markus: Mm. 

[01:17:06] Lisa: here is like if we take all the planets in the sun and we shrink it to the size of a cookie, then the next star over, the neighboring star to our sun, is in that same scale about two football fields away.

[01:17:20] Markus: Mm.

[01:17:21] Not good. 

[01:17:22] Lisa: us more than six months within like a tiny 

[01:17:25] Markus: Mm. 

[01:17:25] Lisa: that cookie.

[01:17:27] I don't want to go to the football field,

[01:17:28] Markus: Yeah.

[01:17:29] Lisa: but light travels the universe at the 

[01:17:32] Markus: Yes. 

[01:17:33] Lisa: and we can collect it even so that's super hard, right? I'm just like, I keep talking about this as if it's easy. It's at the verge of technological possibilities. We for the first time have a that can do it at all, right?

[01:17:47] So it's hard. to read the data, it's hard to collect it, it's hard to edit up, but it's possible. And that possible is so amazing to me, and it defines what we as humans with our curiosity can actually get done.

[01:18:06] Markus: We got, um, a playlist on Spotify called the playlist for the aspiring space traveler. Um, and now the question to you, if you were to go to such a place and you know, it's such a very super boring journey, what kind of tune wouldn't you want to miss on that Spotify playlist?

[01:18:28] One piece of music. 

[01:18:29] Lisa: oh, I was like, the first thing you have to take is you have to take the Voyager playlist because the Voyager spacecrafts are bringing the golden records to other parts of the cosmos. And so, if you were to go as an astronaut. definitely something you'd have to bring.

[01:18:47] Markus: Good, but would you want to listen to it? I mean, like

[01:18:50] you personally, what, good, what, 

[01:18:53] Lisa: would, I would only go if We were better in this whole cryosleep.

[01:19:01] Markus: okay, but still at some point you would wake up,

[01:19:04] um, and you would want to listen to one piece of music. Which one is it?

[01:19:09] Lisa: I was about to say, because it's an Austrian podcast, are you waiting for me to say I'm from Austria? No, 

[01:19:17] Markus: I think, I

[01:19:18] think that that would, that would drive you crazy on board 

[01:19:23] if you listen to it so many times. 

[01:19:24] Lisa: no. I think the question is like, how many times do I have to listen to it? Because the more I have to listen to it, the more I'd have to go to jazz and classics. But, uh I really generally listen more to, uh, to pop and rock, but it changes quite a bit what I listen to. It depends, you know, like for everyone on the mood and so on.

[01:19:47] a couple of, uh, amazing There's a couple of amazing songs, uh, that I See, what you're doing right now is actually making me really don't want to go because I don't want to just have to listen to the same songs over and over again. I want to be able to listen 

[01:20:04] Markus: It's a, it's a tough, it's a tough question, 

[01:20:07] but, um, I've been, well, I love, um, for example, progressive rock music. So I love a band called Dream Theater and they have very long tunes. Like there is one called. Change of Season. And this is, I think, 40 minutes long.

[01:20:28] Um, um, so maybe, uh, because progressive music is very challenging to the ear. Um, so maybe this would be my take to bring Change of Seasons to, to

[01:20:42] my journey. 

[01:20:43] Lisa: interesting enough that you don't get bored with it after a 

[01:20:46] Markus: Exactly. You always discover something new. So, 

[01:20:49] um, 

[01:20:50] Lisa: then, for me, that would be probably Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert.

[01:20:55] Markus: okay.

[01:20:56] Is that, is 

[01:20:57] It is. 

[01:20:59] Lisa: but it's piano 

[01:20:59] Markus: hmm. 

[01:21:00] Lisa: and 

[01:21:01] Markus: Okay. 

[01:21:01] Lisa: something new you can find in it. But that's a different question, you know, if you listen to it over and over again.

[01:21:11] Markus: Sure. 

[01:21:11] Lisa: tunes would you be able to survive?

[01:21:14] While if you wanted to wake up on a spaceship, what would you want to 

[01:21:18] Markus: Yeah. 

[01:21:19] Lisa: It's a great question.

[01:21:21] Markus: Um, I'm putting that, um, uh, tune, that Keith Jarrett tune to that playlist. I'm adding it right after our call, after the interview. And you should check out the other takes

[01:21:35] from, from my guests. It's, it's beautiful. Um, last question, Lisa. Um, this. Production is called the Space Cafe Podcast. It's a coffee place. Um, and now and then you'd have an espresso like that one that you're having right now.

[01:21:55] Um, to enter, That's a teacup. 

[01:21:58] Lisa: cup.

[01:21:59] Markus: That's a coffee cup. Let's, let's go for the coffee cup. And coffee cups, um, sometimes help you energize yourself. If you're, if you need energy. Now, I challenge you to share an espresso for the mind. with me and the audiences. And you can pick whatever kind of topic you want to pick. What do you think could be an energizing idea you'd like to share with me, with the audiences?

[01:22:32] Lisa: When you go out the next time and look at the stars, count to five. One out of five stars out there have a planet that could be like ours. And on that planet, somebody could right now looking up as well and asking. I wonder if we're alone.

[01:22:54] Markus: Lisa, this is, this is mind blowingly brilliant. Uh, thank you so much for taking the time. This is really, really brilliant. Thank you. Ha,

[01:23:02] ha, ha. Ha, ha, 

[01:23:04] Lisa: forward to the space list of music because I'm sure there's a lot of great stuff that I'll discover.

[01:23:10] Markus: ha. Wonderful.

[01:23:12] Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the Space Cafe Podcast. We hope you enjoyed our journey through the cosmos of ideas and insights. Before we sign off, let me ask you, what is the one piece of music that you would not want to miss on your deep space voyage?

[01:23:36] One piece of music with you. What tune? Which you choose, that motivates you. We invite you to ponder this question and share your choice with us. Your selection not only reveals a part of your personal universe, but also contributes to a cosmic playlist of human experience and emotion on Spotify.

[01:23:58] Please catch me on LinkedIn. This is where I hang out most of the time, if you want to share your personal choice or experiences with me. Deep space travel. Lastly, if you've enjoyed your time at the Space Cafe, please take a moment to rate our podcast. Your feedback not only supports us, but also helps fellow space enthusiasts discover our community.

[01:24:23] Exploring the vast and beautiful expanse of space. One episode. at a time. Until the next time, keep looking up and dream big, my friends. Bye bye. 

Podcasts we love