Astrophysicist Rachel Smith is an observer of forming stars. From 20,000 light years away, Smith trawls the frontiers of our galaxy searching through the chemistry of where in the universe Earth-like planets could exist.
“You have a puzzle with a million or a billion pieces, and we’ve got one piece,” explains Smith. “I’m interested in the chemistry of what’s going on from where we are to where the center of our galaxy is.”
In episode five of The Most Unknown, Smith travels to Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory with astrobiologist Luke McKay to explore the Milky Way using Keck’s powerful twin telescopes perched atop the Big Island’s dormant Mauna Kea volcano.
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