The Search for ET

UC Riverside’s Mario De Leo Winkler will give a free public talk on campus April 2

Antenna of a radio telescope used to search for extraterrestrial intelligent life.Photo credit: Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The search for extraterrestrial life is painstaking, time-consuming and costly, and can be a definitive test of one’s patience.  Despite efforts over many decades by SETI, no extraterrestrial life – intelligent or otherwise – has been found.  Why then pursue the search?

Mario De Leo Winkler, a UC MEXUS postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, will address this question in detail in a free public talk on campus Thursday, April 2.

De Leo Winkler’s talk, titled “Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Life,” will begin at 6 p.m. in Rooms 205-206, Winston Chung Hall.  A telescope observation (of heavenly bodies) will follow the hour-long talk.

“With more than 100 billion planets believed to exist in our galaxy alone, the possibility of at least one planet hosting life is astoundingly high,” De Leo Winkler said.  “As distances are terribly big between stars our best chance for contacting possible extraterrestrial civilizations would be through radio communication.  Extraterrestrial life could be very complex, very simple, or even intelligent. The huge variety of planets, stars and environments in the universe pose great possibilities for different life forms.”

According to De Leo Winkler, much can be learned if life on another celestial body were to be discovered.

Photo shows Mario De Leo Winkler.

Mario De Leo Winkler is a postdoctoral researcher in UC Riverside’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Photo credit: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside.

“We can study how life emerged on that distant planet and compare with how we think life originated on Earth,” he said.   “We can study how life evolved on an extra-solar planet and how it compares with evolution on Earth.   The conditions of the host planet and its companion star can be compared with our solar system and help determine which conditions are required for life to originate.”

De Leo Winkler was born in Mexico City. His undergraduate studies were in physics and his graduate studies in astronomy and astrophysics. He obtained his degrees in the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His research focuses on gravitational lensing and primordial galaxies. Currently, he is mostly dedicated to public outreach in science, collaborating with radio, television, magazines, and social media in Mexico. He has been awarded scholarships to study astrophysics in the Vatican, France, and Italy.

Parking information can be found here.   Parking Lots 10 and 13 are recommended.  To locate these lots, click here.

De Leo Winkler’s talk is the sixth in a series of astronomy talks being held at UCR.  This is his second talk in the series; the earlier talk focused on Saturn.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
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Additional Contacts

Mario De Leo Winkler
Tel: (951) 827-5415

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