View Full Version : Astrobiology

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, 05:25 PM
"Astrobiology (often used synonymously with exobiology) is defined in different ways by different people, but it includes the study of the evolution of life, the chemistry that leads to the formation of life, and the possibility that life has evolved or may evolve on other planets. Two places in particular are of interest: Mars and Europa (one of Jupiter's moons). Both of these "planets" have environments that may have once supported life or may even presently support life in places we cannot see. And if life has evolved on other worlds, did it also evolve intelligence? Since visits to other worlds are limited (so far) to robotic probes and are very expensive, most current astrobiological research is based on extreme environments on Earth. Antarctica has been used as an analog for Mars, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents ecosystems have been proposed as analogs for possible ecosystems on Europa.
Related to astrobiology is the study of ecopoesis and terraformation. Ecopoesis is the creation of an ecosystem on a previously lifeless world. Terraformation is the changing of a world to make it Earth-like. Again, Mars is usually the target of these studies. If Mars does not currently support life, could it be made to do so?"




Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, 09:33 PM
Some ideas of how they might look:


(there has to be better galleries of astrobiological life, but I just can't find it :D)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005, 09:36 PM
There was a show that was supposed to be on once that would show examples of what life out there would hypothetically really look like. I saw it on the news website when I was browsing the science section and reading about the hubble, but I don't recall who was putting the show on TV, or what the site was or anything. If anyone else saw this, maybe they can help out? It had color pictures. :)