OAKLAND -- A new show at the Chabot Space and Science Center probes for the existence of life beyond Earth.
"We Are Aliens," a full-dome animated planetarium show, shares with viewers where in the universe scientists are searching for life and explores three places scientists are excited about: Mars, Europa and distant space.
At the beginning of "We Are Aliens," narrator Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" movie series) asks if human beings are alone in the universe.
"Right now, (human beings) are alone," Grint says.
But if scientists search for other forms of life, "what should they look for?" Grint asks. Life is everywhere on our planet. Scientists find life in our lakes, rivers, deep in the oceans and even clinging on in deserts. Where there's water, there seems to be life.
And a majority of life is made up of microbes, Grint tells viewers. Microbes can be found in the most extreme locations on earth. Microbes can be found in areas of extreme cold and in areas of extreme heat. Scientists have found microbes in temperatures hotter than those used to sterilize medical equipment. And microbes have been found as deep as four kilometers below the earth's crust. In all these places, microbes are found in water, sometimes the smallest droplet of water.
At one time, Mars may have been home to microbes. In one of the show's scenes, a rocket travels to Mars to deploy a robot in search of life. And though the scene is animated a NASA rover in March found a rock sample that indicates Mars "could have supported living microbes," according to a news release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sending robots is crucial to searching for life beyond Earth, Grint says.
Scientists are also excited about finding life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. "Does this icy moon have the ingredients for life?" NASA asks on its website dedicated to Europa. Europa has a "surface ocean of salty water," the website says, "deep enough to cover the whole surface of the planet." The top of the ocean is frozen, but scientists suspect there may be life under the top, where the ocean is liquid.
WHAT: "We Are Aliens," an animated, full-dome planetarium show that investigates for the existence of life beyond Earth.
WHERE: Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
WHEN: through Dec. 15
TICKETS: Included with general admission
INFORMATION: www.chabotspace.org or call 510-336-7373.