Search for alien life focus of Earth and Space Open House

March 24, 2015

Is there alien life beyond planet Earth? We don't yet know, and the job of astrobiologists – those who study life in space – is to find out.

One place to start the search is within our own solar system, where hunting for life is like looking for a good restaurant. There are three kinds of places: the chain franchises (decent, but so predictable), the up-and-coming areas (the next big thing) and the hidden gems (hit or miss, but could be amazing). Come find out about the must-go places in the Yelp of astrobiologists. searching for life in the universe Download Full Image

Those who wish to learn more about extraterrestrial life are invited to attend a free public lecture at the next Earth and Space Open House, from 7 to 10 p.m., March 27, at the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The talk, "Hunting for Life in the Solar System," will be given by the School of Earth and Space Exploration's Marc Niveu, graduate student in astrophysics.

In addition to the public talk, there will be two 3-D planetarium shows in the Marston Exploration Theater, at 7:15 and 8:45 p.m. All seating is on a first-come basis.

At 8 p.m., attendees can "Create Your Own Planet" in the Marston Exploration Theater. (Participants must sign up at the welcome table beforehand.)

As usual, there will be telescope sky viewing outdoors next to the James Turrell Skyscape art installation from 8 to 10 p.m. (weather permitting). There will also be several exciting demonstrations and activities in the state-of-the-art ISTB4 Gallery of Scientific Exploration by experts in astrobiology, geology, cosmology and planetary science – as well as a free poster.

The open house can be accessed through the main entrance of ISTB 4, located on the building’s north side.

The monthly open house is sponsored by the School of Earth and Space Exploration, GeoClub, AstroDevils: ASU Astronomy Club, Icarus Rocketry, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS) and many others.

For more information, visit or visit the school's Facebook event page. The final open house of the spring semester will be held on April 24 (on the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope).

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Robert Burnham

Science writer, School of Earth and Space Exploration


Open Door event to feature activities for all ages at ASU West campus

March 24, 2015

Arizona State University’s West campus opens its doors to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 28 for Open Door @ ASU West, a signature event for Arizona State University and the Arizona SciTech Festival.

The Open Door celebration will be held in various locations on campus at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. Open Door @ West Activities Download Full Image

“Our Open Door event is an exciting opportunity for the community to learn about and experience all of the new and exciting things going on at ASU’s West campus,” said Todd Sandrin, associate dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Open Door will feature over 50 hands-on activities and demonstrations from across the campus. Some of the day’s many activities include:

Crime scene science, black widow demos: Faculty from ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will host “Forensic Science Frenzy.” The college will offer hands-on demonstrations in the science behind crime scenes, including blood splatter patterns, blood analysis and levels of decay. New College will allow guests the opportunity to get up close to black widow spiders from the Black Widow Spider Lab, run by professor Chad Johnson.

Cybersecurity challenge: If applied computing and cybersecurity is a hobby or possibly a future career, sign-up to take part in the Cybersecurity Challenge. In association with Terra Verde Services, ASU will present several levels of security for teams of students, from junior high through university-level, to crack. Located at the 3rd floor south wing of the SANDS building.

Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day: This program honors Sonia Kovalevsky, a pioneer for women in mathematics. Kovalevsky was regarded as one of the world’s best mathematicians in her time. Sonia Kovalevsky Day is an opportunity to engage female students in a day of networking, mentoring and fun. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a keynote lecture, followed by a hands-on mathematical activity and competition. After lunch participants will hear from a panel of advanced college and graduate students as well as professionals in the mathematical sciences. For more information and to register to take part in SK Day, email Located at the KIVA and the Verde Dining Pavilion.

Rubik’s Cube competition: Hundreds of students from across Arizona will compete in the annual “You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube” contest beginning at 8 a.m. in the ballrooms in the University Center Building. Teams of K-12 students in three divisions will compete to solve 25 Rubik’s Cubes in the shortest amount of time. The public is welcome to cheer on the teams and take a turn at solving their own Rubik’s Cube.

The Open Door @ ASU West event is free and open to the public. Parking is also free. For more information, contact Samantha Fritz, at or 602-543-5300.