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The Astrobiology Primer v2.0Astrobiology is the science that seeks to understand the story of life in our universe. Astrobiology includes investigation of the conditions that are necessary for life to emerge and flourish, the origin of life, the ways that life has evolved and adapted to the wide range of environmental conditions here on Earth, the search for life beyond Earth, the habitability of extraterrestrial environments, and consideration of the future of life here on Earth and elsewhere. It therefore requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, and many more specialized scientific areas including astronomy, geology, planetary science, microbiology, atmospheric science, and oceanography. However, astrobiology is more than just a collection of different disciplines. In seeking to understand the full story of life in the Universe in a holistic way, astrobiology asks questions that transcend all these individual scientific subjects. Astrobiological research potentially has much broader consequences than simply scientific discovery, as it includes questions that have been of great interest to human beings for millennia (e.g., are we alone?) and raises issues that could affect the way the human race views and conducts itself as a species (e.g., what are our ethical responsibilities to any life discovered beyond Earth?).
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Wright, Katherine E.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Adamala, Katarzyna
(Minnesota Univ. Minneapolis, MN, United States)
Rubia, Leigh Arina de la
(Tennessee State Univ. Nashville, TN, United States)
Bond, Jade
(New South Wales Univ. Sydney, Australia)
Dartnell, Lewis R.
(Westminster Univ. London, United Kingdom)
Goldman, Aaron D.
(Oberlin Coll. OH, United States)
Lynch, Kennda
(Montana Univ. Missoula, MT, United States)
Naud, Marie-Eve
(Montreal Univ. Quebec, Canada)
Paulino-Lima, Ivan G.
(Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Singer, Kelsi
(Southwest Research Inst. Boulder, CO, United States)
Walter-Antonio, Marina
(Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, United States)
Abrevaya, Ximena C.
(Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica del Espacio Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Anderson, Rika
(Carleton Coll. Northfield, MN, United States)
Arney, Giada
(Washington Univ. Seattle, WA, United States)
Atri, Dimitra
(Blue Marble Space Seattle, WA, United States)
Azua-Bustos, Armando
(Blue Marble Space Seattle, WA, United States)
Bowman, Jeff S.
(Columbia Univ. Palisades, NY, United States)
Brazelton, William J.
(Utah Univ. Salt Lake City, UT, United States)
Brennecka, Gregory A.
(Muenster Univ. Germany)
Carns, Regina
(Washington Univ. Seattle, WA, United States)
Chopra, Aditya
(Planetary Science Inst. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Colangelo-Lillis, Jesse
(McGill Univ. Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Crockett, Christopher J.
(American Society for Information Science Washington, DC, United States)
DeMarines, Julia
(Blue Marble Space Seattle, WA, United States)
Frank, Elizabeth A.
(Carnegie Institution for Science Washington, DC, United States)
Frantz, Carie
(Weber State Univ. Ogden, UT, United States)
Fuente, Eduardo de la
(Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico)
Galante, Douglas
(Laboratorio Nacional de Luz Sincrotron Brazil)
Glass, Jennifer
(Georgia Inst. of Technology Atlanta, GA, United States)
Gleeson, Damhnait
(Science Foundation Ireland Dublin, Ireland)
Glein, Christopher R.
(Southwest Research Inst. San Antonio, TX, United States)
Goldblatt, Colin
(Victoria Univ. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
Horak, Rachel
(American Society for Microbiology Washington, DC, United States)
Horodyskyj, Lev
(Arizona State Univ. Phoenix, AZ, United States)
Kacar, Betul
(Harvard Univ. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Kereszturi, Akos
(Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest, Hungary)
Knowles, Emily
(Johnson and Wales University Providence Campus Providence, RI, United States)
Mayeur, Paul
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst. Troy, NY, United States)
McGlynn, Shawn
(Tokyo Institute of Technology Tokyo, Japan)
Miguel, Yamila
(Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis Valbonne, France)
Montgomery, Michelle
(University of Central Florida Orlando, FL, United States)
Neish, Catherine
(University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, Canada)
Noack, Lena
(Belgian Royal Observatory Brussels, Belgium)
Rugheimer, Sarah
(Harvard Univ. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Stueken, Eva E.
(Washington Univ. Seattle, WA, United States)
Tamez-Hidalgo, Paulina
(Akvadan-Harvey A/S Bagsvaerd, Denmark)
Walker, Sara Imari
(Blue Marble Space Seattle, WA, United States)
Wong, Teresa
(Washington Univ. Saint Louis, MO, United States)
Date Acquired
July 31, 2018
Publication Date
August 1, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Astrobiology
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert
Volume: 16
Issue: 8
ISSN: 1531-1074
e-ISSN: 1557-8070
Subject Category
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