Dr. Steven Charnley

December 20, 2006

SETI Institute Principal Investigator

“We strive for a detailed understanding of each phase of the galactic carbon cycle and how each is connected,” says Steven Charnley, “beginning in the interstellar medium, through the star formation process leading to systems like the Sun and planets, and ending in the delivery of organic matter to the young planets.” Charnley’s goal is to determine the molecular composition of each of these astronomical environments, then develop theoretical models of the chemistry occurring in each of them. By studying the chemical cycling of carbon in the galaxy, Charnley hopes to understand whether the organic matter found in comets, meteorites, and interstellar space could have seeded the Earth, ultimately leading to the origin of life.


- SETI Institute Explorer, Special Edition 2005