James Lovelock’s notes for a lecture about detecting life on other planets

Made:
1966 in Pasadena
author:
James Ephraim Lovelock
James Lovelock Archive. Cover of notebook labelled 'JPL March '66', with a red ring binding. Manuscript notes about the James Lovelock Archive. Page of notebook labelled 'JPL March '66', with a red ring binding. Manuscript notes about the

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James Lovelock Archive. Cover of notebook labelled 'JPL March '66', with a red ring binding. Manuscript notes about the
Science Museum, London|James Lovelock
Science Museum, London|James Lovelock

James Lovelock Archive. Page of notebook labelled 'JPL March '66', with a red ring binding. Manuscript notes about the
Science Museum, London|James Lovelock
Science Museum, London|James Lovelock

Notebook with a red ring binding, containing manuscript notes about the detection for life (lecture / presentation notes), by James Lovelock whilst he was working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA, labelled March ‘66 [1966]. Dimensions include spiral binding, opens vertically 410 mm (h).

In the 1960s NASA was looking for life on Mars. Scientist and inventor James Lovelock, who was working for them at the time, suggested that life could be detected by examining a planet’s atmosphere. In this lecture he argued that a planet supporting life will have an atmosphere rich in reactive gases such as methane and oxygen. If there were no life these gases would be quickly removed from the atmosphere. This idea was an important step in Lovelock developing his Gaia hypothesis.

Details

Category:
Archive
Object Number:
2012-118/46
Measurements:
overall: 213 cm x 146 mm
type:
spiral binding
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • component - object
  • binding - gathered matter component
  • mechanical binding - component
  • visual and verbal communication
  • book
  • blankbook
credit:
James Ephraim Lovelock