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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Space Artist Brings ‘Alien Worlds’ To Life

On the planet of Venera, Coneheads walk in packs. Aguilar imagines that these creatures might have a great sense of smell and communicate using odor. (David Aguilar)On the planet Arclandia, Aguilar has created a cold climate animal called a Thunderbeast, seen here. (David Aguilar)On the world Yelrihs a Windcatcher (left) flies while two Preencatchers (right) dart along the ground. Aguilar imagines that the infrared spectrum of light on this planet has a big impact on life there. (David Aguilar)On the dying world of Moros, Tripids fish are in the water. Aguilar imagines that life on a dying planet would be hard for creatures who have adapted to a more fertile planet over centuries. (David Aguilar)David Aguilar is pictured in his office, with some of the creatures he's invented. (Robin Young)David Aguilar holds up one of his creations. (Robin Young)David Aguilar has photoshopped himself into some of his illustrations. (Robin Young)
David Aguilar holds up one of his creations. (Robin Young)

David Aguilar holds up one of his creations. (Robin Young)

David Aguilar’s office at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a lot like any office in the building — except it’s full of aliens.

Aguilar is director of public affairs and science information there and in his latest book for young scientists, “Alien Worlds: Your Guide to Extraterrestrial Life,” he takes information about real exo-planets that are in an orbit around stars that might be able sustain life, throws in a little imagination to fill in the spaces and dreams up what kind of plants, animals and other things might live there.

Here & Now’s Robin Young pays him a visit to talk about the worlds he’s created.


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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