From SETI Institute: “100 YEARS OF THE IAU: Beyond the Galileo Experiment”

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From SETI Institute

Jul 5, 2019


Galileo’s closest approach to our planet in December 1990 allowed scientists to perform the first controlled experiment for the search for life on Earth from space.

NASA/Galileo 1989-2003

Ten months earlier, Voyager 1 had returned the iconic ‘Pale Blue Dot’ image.

NASA/Voyager 1

The Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan

From beyond the orbit of Neptune, Earth appeared as a mere fraction of a pixel. The planetary portrait was captured at the suggestion of Carl Sagan, who was also the designer of the Galileo flyby experiment. The Pale Blue Dot became an instant symbol for a civilization stepping out of its planetary cradle in search of life beyond Earth. Success would require that humanity redefine itself from a cosmic perspective. Within 10 months of the Pale Blue Dot delivering the philosophical message, the Galileo experiment provided a scientific roadmap for the journey.

In a commentary commissioned by Nature Astronomy for the 100th Anniversary of the IAU and published on July 5th, 2019, Dr. Nathalie A. Cabrol, astrobiologist and Director of the SETI Institute Carl Sagan Center for Research shows how, 26 years after its publication, A search for life on Earth from the Galileo spacecraft by Sagan et al. (1993) reveals a fused vision of a future of biosignature detection in the Solar System and beyond that is even more relevant today.

You can read the full article at Nature:

See the full article here .


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