Where did life come from? Here's a theory that's out of this world -- maybe earthlings were born - on Venus! It gives the name "sister planet" a whole new meaning. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, why Venus may once have been the liveliest rock in our solar system.
Astronomer Eugene Shoemaker tells Steve Paulson why he thinks there may be a liquid ocean on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, and how he'd look for life there. Shoemaker is on the staff of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona. Also, Astronomer David Grinspoon explains to Judith Strasser why he thinks live on earth may have gotten its start on Venus. Grinspoon teaches Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado and is the author of "Venus Revealed: A New Look below the Clouds of Our Mysterious Twin Planet." For more information you can visit his Venus Revealed Web Page.SEGMENT 2:
John S. Lewis can think of a better use for near-Earth asteroids than plots for TV movies: he wants to mine them for minerals and the chemical components of rocket fuel. He tells Jim Fleming that eventually people could create colonies inside asteroids. Lewis teaches astronomy at the University of Arizona and is the author of "Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets and Planets."SEGMENT 3:
John Barrow explains to Steve Paulson how our aesthetic sense grows directly out of our biological adaptations to the natural world. An appreciation of symetry, for example, increases an animal's ability to survive. Barrow is an astronomer at the University of Sussex in England, and the author of "The Artful Universe."
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