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The Search for Life Beyond Earth with Rachel Smith

May 3 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

TOPIC: The Search for Life Beyond Earth

SPEAKER:  Rachel Smith, Head, Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab, Curator of Meteorites, Professor, Physics & Astronomy. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences/Appalachian State University.

Astronomer Dr. Rachel Smith will use new planetarium software called OpenSpace to journey from Earth to our neighboring planets, to far beyond the solar system.

Rachel will discuss some of Earth’s extreme environments and their connections to other worlds where scientists are searching for life. She will also discuss her current research on forming stars and protoplanetary systems across the Galaxy using NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility on Maunakea, Hawaii, with links to exoplanets and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

NOTE: This will be a Zoom presentation inside PUMC Wolfe Hall


Dr. Rachel Smith is Head of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Lab and Curator of Meteorites at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She is jointly appointed as Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University, and Adjunct Professor at UNC Chapel Hill.

Rachel’s research involves observing forming stars across the Galaxy to better understand the chemical pathways involved in the evolution of planets, and in the formation of carbon-based molecules needed for life.

Rachel has utilized several large observatories for her work, and is currently observing massive young stars with NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility on Maunakea in Hawaii.

She has had a long-time interest in the search for life beyond our planet, and how life began and evolved on Earth.


May 3
10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT
Event Category:


Senior Scholars


Hybrid: In-Person at PUMC & via Zoom
2810 Providence Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211 United States
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