In this nontechnical talk, illustrated with the latest images and video, Dr. Thaller asks what makes a world habitable? What creates and sustains an environment friendly to life? She then discusses the history of life on Earth and what we are learning about our planet, and our neighbors Mars and Venus from such missions as the Parker Solar Probe, the laboratories aboard our Mars rovers, and the probes that have explored asteroids and comets, including one that is bringing samples back to Earth as we speak. Finally, she touches on the way new instruments, like the James Webb Space Telescope, will help us learn if there are habitable worlds around other stars.
Dr. Michelle Thaller is the liaison between the Office of Communication and the Science Directorate at NASA Goddard. Outside her work at NASA, she has appeared in many television science programs, including How the Universe Works and Space’s Deepest Secrets.