Lowell Lecture

Searching for Ancient Life on Mars

Date & Time

Oct. 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.


IMAX Theater at New England Aquarium
1 Central Wharf Boston, MA 02110
Driving Directions


John P. Grotzinger, Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology; Ted and Ginger Jenkins Leadership Chair, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology

Presenting Organization

New England Aquarium




Maggie See (aquariumlectures@neaq.org, 617-973-6596)

Over the past 20 years, NASA has built and sent to Mars a series of orbiters, landers, and rovers designed to explore the red planet’s earliest history and seek signs of life. These missions discovered that in contrast to its current harsh environment, the ancient surface of Mars was wet, with a warmer climate, and thought to have been habitable by simple microorganisms. Nutrients, sources of energy, and all the key ingredients to sustain life appear to have been present. The remaining question for future missions is now to determine if life ever originated on Mars. The next rover mission, due to launch in 2020, will collect rock samples for return to Earth, where they can be examined with our most technologically advanced scientific instruments and giving us our best chance to date to search for fossils of ancient life. This is the eighth annual John H. Carlson Lecture presented by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lorenz Center and the New England Aquarium. The registration list will be shared with MIT.