The Search for Life in Space is a tribute to famed astronomer Carl Sagan and all he’s done for humanity’s exploration into the stars. While we’ve barely managed to touch the outer edges of our own solar system, we’ve learned plenty more since the days of Sagan. The 32-minute documentary highlights some of the biggest discoveries we’ve made about possible life in space and what it could mean for us all.
As you can imagine, 30 minutes is not a lot of time to fully explore fundamental questions relating to life in space. The Search for Life in Space is a decent introduction into the subject and has some gorgeous visuals to go along with it, but for dedicated fans who truly want to know more about the subject, it may seem like old news.
The film opens with some words from Carl Sagan and talks about the golden records containing the life and culture of earth as some sort of space time capsule that were strapped to the Voyager spacecraft. We then get into what it would take for us to find life on other planets and what exactly is needed for said life to exist, at least according to our own understanding. Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute and fellow astronomer, helps narrate.
I already knew many of the subjects touched upon in the short documentary, but there were some interesting facts to learn nonetheless. I was most impressed to learn that Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, is the biggest moon in the solar system as it’s larger than Mercury and only slightly smaller than Mars. It also contains more salt water than all the oceans of the Earth. I also enjoyed the brief scene showing scientists caving in tunnels created from volcanic lava in Hawaii.
The Search for Life in Space is a fun little documentary that’s worth checking out in IMAX if you’re around one of the theaters playing it. I wouldn't say it’s a film worth going out of your way to see as it’s rather short and doesn’t provide anything new we haven’t seen or heard before. Kids will no doubt get a kick out of it, though, and if anything it will get them excited to learn more.