Virtual Babelsberg Starry Night

Illustration of astronomical objects and chemical compounds symbolizing the journey towards life in the universe.
Credit: NASA
Jan. 20, 2021 //

The next lecture of the virtual Babelsberg Starry Nights of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) will be broadcast starting on Thursday, 21 January 2021 on the YouTube channel "Urknall, Weltall und das Leben". Please note that the lecture will be given in German.

From 6 p.m. on Thursday, Professor Klaus Strassmeier’s lecture on the topic "Cosmic roommates: The search for life in the universe" from the Babelsberg Starry Night series will be available online. The lecture will be held in German.

Are we as a species alone in the universe, or is the universe as full of life as our blue planet? We don't know yet, but the rapid development in the discovery and exploration of extrasolar planets in recent years has lifted such questions out of the speculative and into the fact-based sciences. Never before have we been so close to solving the Drake equation, which predicts the number of communicating civilisations in our Galaxy. The talk will describe the astrophysically relevant facts for the preconditions for life as we know it, and reveal some quite astonishing projections from our own biological-social behaviour.

This season, the Babelsberg Starry Nights will not take place on site at the AIP, but will come straight to your home: on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. the lectures are available at https://www.aip.de/babelsberger-sternennaechte and on the Youtube channel of Urknall, Weltall und das Leben and can be viewed at any time afterwards.

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aims at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and E-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.
Last update: 22. February 2021