Martian Lava Tubes and Life: A Talk

Image Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Virginia Rufina Marquez-Pacheco

Science & Tech Editor


Are you interested in space exploration? Does the search for life on other planets fascinate you? Then this might be the event for you. On February 22nd, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be holding an interesting talk entitled “Exploring the Martian Underworld: Hunting for Life in Martian Lava Tubes, and a Future Home for Humanity?”
The event is being hosted by Space Concordia. The talk will feature Christopher Patterson as speaker. Mr. Patterson is a Bioresource Engineering student at McGill, and a research student at the CSA’s Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes (ATiLT). ATiLT allows students to develop a mission for the exploration of lava tubes on Mars. The project works in collaboration with NASA’s Ames Laboratory and the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI).
The talk will explore the possibility of life signatures –present or past– to be found in lava tubes beneath Mars’ surface. A lava tube is an underground channel through which lava flows or used to flow. Lava tubes are an interesting target for the search of extra-terrestrial life, for they provide protection from harmful radiation due to their underground position. These lava tubes could also be potentially used as a location for human colonies, although this last use seems very fanciful at the present time.
This talk is open to the public and will be taking place at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, Room S2.210 (1450 Guy St., Montreal). The event begins at 8:00 pm, and doors open at 7:30 pm.

Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol.49 Issue 07 on December 4th, 2019