Astrobiology...Are We Alone?

Astronomer Eric Jensen and microbiologist Amy Vollmer give an introduction to an interdisciplinary subject: astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth. Jensen and Vollmer examine topics that may give us clues about the limits of life elsewhere.

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Amy Cheng VollmerAstronomer Eric Jensen and microbiologist Amy Vollmer give an introduction to an interdisciplinary subject: astrobiology, the study of life beyond Earth. By trying to understand how Earth formed and evolved, and how microbial life forms have evolved and adapted to living in extreme environments on this planet, scientists are developing a better understanding of the possibilities for life elsewhere in the universe. Topics that Jensen and Vollmer explore include the early history of Earth, the formation of critical organic molecules, data from Mars, the likelihood of stars like our Sun and planets like Earth existing in the galaxy, and extreme environments on Earth that may give us clues about the limits of life elsewhere.