Recently in the Astrobiology (general) Category


Name: Jennifer Eigenbrode. Formal Job Classification: Research astrobiologist. Organization: Code 699, Planetary Environments Laboratory, Space Sciences Directorate

How can scientists conclude with high confidence that an exoplanet hosts life? As telescopes come on line over the next 20 years that can directly observe photons from terrestrial exoplanets, this question will dictate the activities of many scientists across many fields.

Astrobiology is a scientific discipline that studies life in the Universe. We call it a discipline and not a science because some authors have cast doubts over its epistemological status by calling it 'a science without an object of study'.

Was this the earliest TV mention of "astrobiology"? A scene from the original Star Trek episode "Return To Tomorrow" which first aired on 9 February 1968:

KIRK: "Who are you?"
MULHALL: "Doctor Ann Mulhall, Astrobiology"

Much attention has been given in the literature to the effects of astrophysical events on human and land-based life. However, little has been discussed on the resilience of life itself.

Contrary to what NASA may want you to think, the word "Astrobiology" was used decades before NASA began using it to describe the study of extraterrestrial life.

This book "Astrobiology" - "Aстробиология" was published (in Russian) in 1953 in the USSR.

The photos below illustrate the topics that the book covered.

The search for habitable exoplanets and life beyond the Solar System is one of the most compelling scientific opportunities of our time.

I am currently attending the Astrobiology Science Conference where the world's astrobiologists all meet to showcase their results and share ideas. There was a time, barely 20 years ago, when there were no astrobiologists. I was one of the lucky people to be present as this amazing 21st century discipline came into existence.

Keith's note: This coming week I will be at the Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon). I will be tweeting about the meeting from @NASAWatch and @Astrobiology and posting updates at astrobiology.com. AbSciCon Sessions will be streamed live at http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/livestream

Day Two of Breakthrough Discuss opened with Michaël Gillon describing the discovery of TRAPPIST-1, which has seven temperate planets, including three in the habitable zone.