Dunlap’s New Video Series Explores Large-Scale Questions of the Cosmos


Do Astronomers believe that aliens exist? The Dunlap Institute has launched a new video series that explores some big astronomy questions like this one.

The series title and content was inspired, in part, by the first COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020.

“Even though we couldn’t host events in person, we wanted to continue the conversation about exploring the Universe,” explains Professor Michael Reid, Dunlap’s Public Outreach Coordinator. “To get the program running quickly, we chose colleagues to give talks on YouTube and answer questions there.”

As Reid and his outreach team began to see the popularity of the first version of the Cosmos From Your Couch series, they decided to expand the idea into more scripted videos. “To make the program more accessible, we decided to break the content down into bite -sized chunks and broaden the range of topics,” he explains.

The first video features Dr. Adiv Paradise, who explains the possibilities of extraterrestrial life from the point of view of an astronomer.


The second video explains how starlight shapes protoplanetary disks – which are the birthplace of planets – this one is hosted by graduate student Taylor Kutra.



Dunlap will be releasing more Cosmos From Your Couch videos in the weeks ahead!

The link to Dunlap’s YouTube channel is here: YouTube.com/DunlapInstitute.


The Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto is an endowed research institute with over 80 faculty, postdocs, students, and staff, dedicated to innovative technology, ground-breaking research, world-class training, and public engagement.

The research themes of its faculty and Dunlap Fellows span the Universe and include: optical, infrared and radio instrumentation, Dark Energy, large-scale structure, the Cosmic Microwave Background, the interstellar medium, galaxy evolution, cosmic magnetism, and time-domain science.

The Dunlap Institute, the David A. Dunlap of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and other researchers across the University of Toronto’s three campuses together comprise the leading concentration of astronomers in Canada, at the leading research university in the country.

The Dunlap Institute is committed to making its science, training, and public outreach activities productive and enjoyable for everyone of all backgrounds and identities.