Episode 35

Signs of Life in the Universe

Ben K.D. Pearce

Mar 23, 2021 | Science

Ben K.D. Pearce joins me a second time to talk about the current Mars mission, the possibility of life on Venus, as well as some cool facts about meteorites!

About This Episode

In this episode, I speak with Ben K.D. Pearce, again! This time, we talk about the latest Mars mission, as well as the building blocks for life in meteorites, and whether or not there’s phosphene on Venus!

Visit Ben’s website: https://www.benkdpearce.com/

Follow Ben on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AstroBio_Ben

Topics and Timestamps


  • Introduction (0:00:38)
  • Ben’s research on the origin of bio-molecules (0:01:35)
  • Building blocks of life on meteorites (0:03:42)
  • How do scientists know the composition of rocks in space? (0:06:10)
  • What about drilling into asteroids? (0:08:33)
  • Useful data in meteorites that land on Earth (0:12:32)
  • Keeping on top of all the news in astrobiology (0:14:50)
  • The role of nitrogen (0:15:43)
  • Talking about the latest Mars mission (0:18:02)
  • Could they find diatom fossils on Mars? (0:20:17)
  • Was there life on Mars? (0:21:54)
  • Phosphene on Venus? (0:27:14)
  • No known chemistry (0:31:31)
  • Why hadn’t we seen this before? (0:33:30)
  • Common disagreements in the field of astrobiology (0:36:36)
  • What’s the Canadian field like? (0:37:40)
  • Saturn’s moon (0:40:40)
  • The excitement around future expeditions (0:43:51)
  • Rate of bombardment (0:46:46)
  • The giant crater in Sudbury (0:48:50)
  • The moon base (0:50:15)
  • Ben’s work at Johns Hopkins (0:51:57)

Follow Planet B612 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlanetB612fm

Support Planet B612 on Patreon: https://patreon.com/juliesworld

Related Episodes

Ep. 49: Machine Learning and Epilepsy with Dr. Gerold Baier

Ep. 49: Machine Learning and Epilepsy with Dr. Gerold Baier

Episode 49 Machine Learning (Epilepsy) Dr. Gerold BaierDr. Baier joins me to talk about his research in algorithmic approaches to disease. About This Episode Dr. Gerold Baier joins me from the UK to discuss machine learning, and his research into algorithmic...

Ep. 48: Plant Pathology with Sara Stricker

Ep. 48: Plant Pathology with Sara Stricker

Episode 48 Plant Pathology Sara StrickerLet's talk plant fungus, agriculture and science communication! About This Episode In this episode, I talk with plant pathologist, and TikTok scicommer, Sara Stricker about plant fungus, science communication, and agriculture....