Dimitar Sasselov - Quotes

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Life and the universe compare to each other like a child and a parent, parent and offspring. ---->>>

I grew up in Bulgaria in a small city on the Black Sea Coast, so I was very interested in the sea, marine life, and everything related to it. But it was also a very dark place at night, so I could see the stars. And I just got very interested in it. ---->>>

We love our planet Earth. We should - it is our home, and there's no place like home. There can't ever be a better place than Earth. ---->>>

It's feasible that we'll meet other sentient life forms and conduct commerce with them. We don't now have the technology to physically travel outside our solar system for such an exchange to take place, but we are like Columbus centuries ago, learning fast how to get somewhere few think possible. ---->>>

Life is extremely resilient once it takes hold, but it requires rich chemistry, large energy sources, and stability, right from the beginning. The comparative planetology of our solar system makes it seem like those initial conditions are hard to come by. ---->>>

My parents gave me a small telescope, then I built my own, and one thing led to another. So that's how I ended up going from being a hobby astronomer to a professional astronomer. ---->>>

We do care about planets like the Earth because by now we understood that life as a chemical system really needs a smaller planet with water and with rocks and with a lot of complex chemistry to originate, to emerge, to survive. ---->>>

Super-Earths are how we call a family of planets... up to two times larger and about ten times more massive than the Earth. ---->>>

When we discover New Earth - a planet we could call home - the question of the 'plurality of worlds' will come front and center, reminding us yet again that we are not the center of the universe. ---->>>

In science, it is rare that a transformational change occurs during our lifetimes. ---->>>

It feels great to discover a planet, just like any discovery in science, except that it has more of the feel of exploration - you can go back and look at it. However, I can never visit. ---->>>

Ocean planets might be very common in the universe because water is very common in the low-temperature environments where planets form and evolve. This might be especially true for super-Earths, which can retain volatiles more easily thanks to their larger mass and surface gravity. ---->>>

People quite often think of the question 'Are we alone in the universe?' in terms of other civilizations out there: life forms that have reached at least our level of technological development. ---->>>

The question we ask is - if there is life on other planets, should we expect it to be based on the same molecules, i.e. be universal - or should we expect it to depend on the local conditions, i.e. on the planet's geochemistry. So to find out, we try experiments on biomolecules, starting with such geochemistry conditions. ---->>>

There is immense, powerful potential in life in this universe - especially now that we know that places like the Earth are common. And that potential, that powerful potential, is also our potential, of you and me. ---->>>

When we think of what is necessary for the phenomenon that we call life, we think of compartmentalization, keeping the molecules which are important for life in a membrane, isolated from the rest of the environment, but yet, in an environment in which they actually could originate together. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Bulgarian
Born: 06-21, 1961
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Scientist
Website:

Dimitar D. Sasselov (Bulgarian: Димитър Д. Съселов, born 1961) is a Bulgarian astronomer based in the United States. He is a Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative. In 2002, Sasselov led a team that discovered the most distant planet in the Milky Way known at the time (wikipedia)