Astrobiology

The word Astrobiology is derived from two diverse fields of study: Astronomy and Biology.     Astrobiology , sometimes also referred as space biology is the study of the life in this universe. It helps in finding amount the life that exists beyond the life of earth. To understand, it requires a nature of environments, a planetary system and a stellar process.  To understand the above fields, astrobiology makes use of physics, chemistry, biology, molecular biology, ecology, geology, geography, and planetary science. Astrobiologyists from different disciplines work together to examine complex questions about the origin of life, evolution of life, environment required to survive and so on.

To answer all the above questions the research has a significant impact on agencies like NASA which launched Kepler Mission in 2009 and the European Space Agency launched COROT space mission in 2006. The goals of both the missions is not just to find a earth-like-planet but to also detect light from them to study spectroscopically. By examining the spectra of the light it will be possible to compose extrasolar planet’s atmosphere which is then created virtually in Virtual Planet Laboratory at NASA.

With the new generation of telescopes like Atacama Large Millimeter Array(ALMA) and European Space Agency’s far-infrared space telescope Hershel has helped biologist to study the distribution of abiotic organic molecules in the star forming regions. Various studies have also shown that life is possible in extraterrestrial environments on the Earth.

Astrobiology is already making a major contribution for research in NASA by sending the rover to Mars in the year 2015. And by the year 2020 Astrobiologists are planning for next Mars Rover mission.

 

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