Thursday, July 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
The Help Desk at 986-1047, ext. 4

It is one of the greatest questions of all time: “Are we alone?”  The question is as old as civilization itself and as intriguing as any ever asked.  For centuries humans could only speculate about the possibilities of life beyond Earth, but as astronomers now study the Solar System and its inhabitants in greater detail, we come closer to understanding how rare life really is.  New data provides clues about where life might thrive and also where not to look for it.  With continuing research, astronomers are better equipped to estimate how many bodies may harbor life in our Galaxy, and if communicating with extraterrestrial intelligence is merely science fiction, or a realistic possibility!

Presenter Raj Pandya earned a B.S. in Applied Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006 and an M.S. in Astronomy from San Diego State University in 2008.  He became the Director of the John R. Kirk Planetarium and a full-time lecturer in the department of Physics and Astronomy at SUNY New Paltz in fall 2011.  He now teaches introductory and upper-level courses in astronomy, and physics I and II labs.  As Planetarium Director he develops, organizes, promotes, and presents live planetarium shows for the campus community and the regional public.  He is also the faculty advisor of the student astronomy club at New Paltz, the “Cosmic Club.” Raj is originally from Westchester, New York and currently lives in New Paltz.

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