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{{redirect-distinguish|Exobiology|Xenobiology}}{{See also|Abiogenesis|Earliest known life forms|Panspermia}}{{short description|Science concerned with life in the universe}}{{See|Astrobiology (journal)|Astrobiology Magazine}}{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2019}}File:ADN animation.gif|thumb|right|upright=1.20|Nucleic acids may not be the only biomolecules in the Universe capable of coding for life processes.WEB,weblink Launching the Alien Debates (part 1 of 7), 5 May 2014, 8 December 2006, Astrobiology MagazineAstrobiology MagazineAstrobiology, formerly known as exobiology, is an interdisciplinary scientific field concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology considers the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists, and if it does, how humans can detect it.WEB,weblink About Astrobiology, 20 October 2008, 21 January 2008, NASA Astrobiology Institute, NASA,weblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2008, WEB, Kaufman, Marc, A History of Astrobiology,weblink NASA, 14 February 2019, Astrobiology makes use of molecular biology, biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, astronomy, physical cosmology, exoplanetology and geology to investigate the possibility of life on other worlds and help recognize biospheres that might be different from that on Earth.BOOK, The life and death of planet Earth, Ward, P. D., Brownlee, D., 2004, Owl Books, New York, 978-0-8050-7512-0, The origin and early evolution of life is an inseparable part of the discipline of astrobiology.WEB,weblink Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Journal: Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 6 April 2015, Astrobiology concerns itself with interpretation of existing scientific data, and although speculation is entertained to give context, astrobiology concerns itself primarily with hypotheses that fit firmly into existing scientific theories.This interdisciplinary field encompasses research on the origin of planetary systems, origins of organic compounds in space, rock-water-carbon interactions, abiogenesis on Earth, planetary habitability, research on biosignatures for life detection, and studies on the potential for life to adapt to challenges on Earth and in outer space.NEWS,weblink Release of the First Roadmap for European Astrobiology, European Science Foundation, Astrobiology Web, 29 March 2016, 2 April 2016, NEWS, Corum, Jonathan, Mapping Saturn's Moons,weblink 18 December 2015, The New York Times, 18 December 2015, NEWS, Cockell, Charles S., How the search for aliens can help sustain life on Earth, 4 October 2012,weblink CNN News, 8 October 2012, Biochemistry may have begun shortly after the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, during a habitable epoch when the Universe was only 10–17 million years old.JOURNAL, Loeb, Abraham, Abraham Loeb, The Habitable Epoch of the Early Universe, October 2014, International Journal of Astrobiology, 13, 4, 337–339, 10.1017/S1473550414000196, 1312.0613, 2014IJAsB..13..337L,, NEWS, Dreifus, Claudia, Claudia Dreifus, Much-Discussed Views That Go Way Back – Avi Loeb Ponders the Early Universe, Nature and Life,weblink 2 December 2014, The New York Times, 3 December 2014, According to the panspermia hypothesis, microscopic life—distributed by meteoroids, asteroids and other small Solar System bodies—may exist throughout the universe.WEB, Rampelotto, P.H., Panspermia: A Promising Field of Research,weblink 2010, Astrobiology Science Conference, 3 December 2014, According to research published in August 2015, very large galaxies may be more favorable to the creation and development of habitable planets than such smaller galaxies as the Milky Way.WEB, Choi, Charles Q., Giant Galaxies May Be Better Cradles for Habitable Planets,weblink 21 August 2015,, 24 August 2015, Nonetheless, Earth is the only place in the universe humans know to harbor life.JOURNAL, Graham, Robert W., NASA Technical Memorandum 102363 – Extraterrestrial Life in the Universe,weblink NASA, Lewis Research Center, Ohio, February 1990, 7 July 2014, BOOK, Altermann, Wladyslaw, Seckbach, Joseph, Walsh, Maud, From Fossils to Astrobiology: Records of Life on Earth and the Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures, From Fossils to Astrobiology – A Roadmap to Fata Morgana?, 2008, 12, 978-1-4020-8836-0, xvii, Estimates of habitable zones around other stars,BOOK, Horneck, Gerda, Petra Rettberg, 2007, Complete Course in Astrobiology, Wiley-VCH, 978-3-527-40660-9, NEWS, Davies, Paul Davies, Paul, Are We Alone in the Universe?,weblink 18 November 2013, The New York Times, 20 November 2013, sometimes referred to as "Goldilocks zones,"WEB,weblink BBC Solar System - Earth orbits in the Goldilocks zone, 2018-03-27,weblink" title="">weblink 28 July 2018, dead, NEWS,weblink What is the Goldilocks Zone and why does it matter in the search for ET?, Gary, Stuart, 22 February 2016, ABC News, 2018-03-27, along with the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets and new insights into extreme habitats here on Earth, suggest that there may be many more habitable places in the universe than considered possible until very recently.NEWS, Overbye, Dennis, Far-Off Planets Like the Earth Dot the Galaxy,weblink 4 November 2013, The New York Times, 5 November 2013, JOURNAL, Petigura, Eric A., Howard, Andrew W., Marcy, Geoffrey W., Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars,weblink 31 October 2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 10.1073/pnas.1319909110, 5 November 2013, 1311.6806, 2013PNAS..11019273P, 110, 48, 19273–19278, 24191033, 3845182, NEWS, Khan, Amina, Milky Way may host billions of Earth-size planets,weblink 4 November 2013, Los Angeles Times, 5 November 2013, Current studies on the planet Mars by the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers are searching for evidence of ancient life as well as plains related to ancient rivers or lakes that may have been habitable.JOURNAL, Grotzinger, John P., Introduction to Special Issue – Habitability, Taphonomy, and the Search for Organic Carbon on Mars, Science (journal), Science, 24 January 2014, 343, 6169, 386–387, 10.1126/science.1249944, 2014Sci...343..386G, 24458635, JOURNAL, Various, Exploring Martian Habitability – Table of Contents,weblink 24 January 2014, Science (journal), Science, 343, 6169, 345–452, 24 January 2014, JOURNAL, Various, Special Collection Curiosity – Exploring Martian Habitability,weblink 24 January 2014, Science (journal), Science, 24 January 2014, JOURNAL, Grotzinger, J.P., etal, A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars, 24 January 2014, Science (journal), Science, 343, 6169, 10.1126/science.1242777, 1242777, 2014Sci...343A.386G, 24324272,, The search for evidence of habitability, taphonomy (related to fossils), and organic molecules on the planet Mars is now a primary NASA and ESA objective.Even if extraterrestrial life is never discovered, the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology, and the cosmic and evolutionary perspectives engendered by it, may still result in a range of benefits here on Earth.JOURNAL, Crawford, I. A., Widening perspectives: The intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology (regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not), International Journal of Astrobiology, 2018, 17, 1, 57–60, 1703.06239, 2018IJAsB..17...57C, 10.1017/S1473550417000088,

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