What Do Extraterrestrials Look Like? – a lecture in French
Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 7:30 p.m. – SOLD OUT
For the first lecture at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, astrophysicist Roland Lehoucq explores questions about whether life exists beyond our planet.
If extraterrestrials exist, where are they? And what would they look like? Would they be humanoid, resembling us? The most recent discoveries about our universe are enough to make your head spin: more than 800 planets gravitate around stars like our sun! When you realize that a galaxy may contain billions of stars, the potential for life seems unlimited… Not counting the planets in our own galaxy, like Mars, or even Titan, the moon that gravitates around Saturn and is comparable to our Earth in its primitive form. Sciences like astronomy and biology never cease to examine the data, to try to formulate hypotheses. And then, there is science fiction: popular novels, comic books and films suggest infinite possibilities for forms of life – either friendly or hostile – that could populate the cosmos. In light of current scientific knowledge, what might extraterrestrials be like?
About the speaker
A researcher at the Department of Astrophysics at the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (or CEA) in Saclay until 2011, Roland Lehoucq is currently a professor at the École Polytechnique. He is a senior fellow in physics and one of the French specialists in cosmic topology. A lecturer, prolific writer, curator for scientific exhibitions and the author of some fifty articles written for lay readers, Roland Lehoucq has also been honoured with numerous awards and distinctions.
Roland Lehoucq's lecture was produced with the support of the Service de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle of the Consulate General of France in Québec and the Association des communicateurs scientifiques (ACS).