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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Search for Cosmic Origins- A lecture by prominent Sri Lankan Astronomer Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe

The monthly lecture series of Sri Lanka Astronomical Association will be launched with the lecture: Our Search for Cosmic Origins by Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe – astronomer and director of Cardiff Center for Astrobiology.

The lecture will argue that there is compelling evidence for the theory that life emerged in a cosmic context and was distributed throughout the Universe from a single event of origination. Astronomical and biological evidence will be presented to support the thesis that "we are aliens".

Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe was a student and collaborator of Sir Fred Hoyle. Their joint work on the infrared spectra of interstellar grains led to developing the modern theory of Panspermia. This theory proposes that cosmic dust in the interstellar medium and in comets is partly organic, and that life on Earth was 'seeded' from space rather than arising through abiogenesis.

He is currently working on developing methods for detecting life processes in space. Prof Chandra says that "My most significant astronomical contribution was to develop the theory of organic grains in comets and in the interstellar medium. This was done during the 1970s and 80's, and it is now accepted by everyone almost without remembering its origins! I feel I also played a part in the birth of the science of astrobiology."

Lecture at a glance !

Guest Lecture: Our Search for Cosmic Origins
Speaker: Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe
Director, Cardiff Center for Astrobiology
Cardiff University, Wales, UK
Date: 4th March 2010
Time: 11am – 12noon
Venue: ENTC-1, Dept. of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa

For more information please contact Thilina Heenatigala; General Secretary of Sri Lanka Astronomical Association at 0716 245 545