The scientific study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.

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24
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2answers
342 views

How do biological communities at deep-ocean hydrothermal vents migrate between vents?

Much interest in the astrobiology community has been generated by the discovery of biological communities populating deep-ocean hydrothermal vents (i.e. "black smokers"). (1) These ecosystems rely on ...
17
votes
1answer
237 views

Is there any convincing evidence for the existence of nanobacteria?

The existence of nanometer scale microorganisms has been proposed and used explain several phenomena including morphological structures in a martian meteorite (ALH 84001) and implication in the ...
15
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1answer
348 views

What is the lowest pressure at which plants can survive?

What is the lowest pressure at which plants can survive? How the plants behave in a Martian-type atmosphere? Is there any plant that can survive such atmosphere? Can a lichen grow at Martian ...
10
votes
2answers
174 views

How did the nucleobases in the Murchison meteorite form?

The Murchison meteorite is an important piece of evidence for abiogenesis, because it contained nucleobases from extraterrestrial origin, as this Wikipedia article explains. These results ...
9
votes
3answers
181 views

Is there life on other planets and if so how frequent?

Some shed tears of joy as the news about the successful landing of the Mars Rover Curiosity came in. Then the most comprehensive 3D map of our observable universe was published. 2012 is literally an ...
8
votes
3answers
200 views

What would need to be discovered to prove there is extraterrestrial life?

Curiosity is on the Martian surface and is equipped with a slew of laboratory equipment. What would Curiosity need to discover to prove there is or has been life on Mars? Would it have to find DNA (or ...
8
votes
2answers
145 views

Can life subsist on anything else but water?

Inspired by an answer to a previous question. It's hypothesized that extraterrestrial life could be based on silicon rather than carbon as its main structural element. Are there similar theories ...
7
votes
2answers
78 views

Should we be looking for extra-terrestrial life on comets?

I have just read What elements are a possible basis for life? and I find myself wondering whether instead of seeking advanced life-forms at remote locales a La SETI, and perhaps fundamentally ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Why must a planet be in a star's “habitable zone” to have life?

I have seen many articles that talk about a star's "habitable zone" as the ring around it which is just the right temperature for planets to have liquid water, which is necessary for life. My question ...
6
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1answer
139 views

If life is discovered on another planet, will it likely be classified using the current domain/kingdom/phylum system?

This may be a stupid question showing my lack of understanding of taxonomy, but I was wondering if the current classification system we use contains broad enough categories to include new life forms, ...
3
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1answer
116 views

What would classify those findings of the University of Sheffield experiment as aliens?

It's in the news that some experiment was able to capture some alien specimens during a meteor shower: ...
2
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1answer
43 views

How much divergence would be needed for classifications as astrobiology?

It is possible that life has invaded mars or the moon by way of probes rovers and other man made tech. How many years or generations of sequential and phenotypical diverge would be necessary to ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

In our solar system which other planet could have been in the “habitable zone” in the past?

With changes in our solar system, such as planets moving away from the sun and the reduction in solar radiation, which other planets in our solar system could have been, in the past, in a suitable ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Life on other planets [duplicate]

first of all I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the astronomy stack. I think biologist are more likely to answer my question. To make it short: Why when looking for any sort of life on ...