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Questions tagged [astrobiology]

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2
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1answer
30 views

Do we know the fluctuations and constant temperature depth of the moon?

Disclaimer: I have no formal scientific training. From what I understand, surface temperature effects on Earth extend only so far into the ground so that at a certain depth the temperature remains ...
2
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1answer
79 views

How harmful is Saturn's magnetic field for human life?

AFAIK, Jupiter has the strongest magnetic field in the solar system, and it's so powerful that I've been told humans only could survive the radiation generated by it in its mooon Callisto, with proper ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Low mass cut-off for the Dharma Planet Survey's detection of habitable planets around 40 Eridani A?

News of the discovery of a potentially habitable planet around the star 40 Eridani A (about 16 light-years away) is interesting for reasons including a 1991 letter described below in Sky & ...
3
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1answer
123 views

Did this paper just argue that there is surely life on Titan?

I just read the popular press version of a new paper, and now I have a question about Titan. Here are some quotes from the pop article: A rocky, ocean-bearing planet with more than 0.1 percent ...
5
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1answer
394 views

Why are ice giants not considered suitable for life?

Ice giants are currently not considered suitable for life due to temperature, pressure and composition. This paper gives some parameters for life in regards to temperature, pressure and composition: ...
0
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1answer
58 views

What possible effects of life replicating on gas giant atmosphere?

If bacteria managed to arrive then thrive somehow (if not already) on a gas giant could it cause the atmosphere to expand or contract in volume? Would living matter potentially induce energy into the ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why do aliens have to be carbon based lifeforms?

So correct me if I'm wrong, but when searching for extra terrestrial life, scientists usually search for signs they would expect for life on earth to thrive in. We look for conditions on planets that ...
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2answers
97 views

Will biological process be disrupted under strong gravitational time dilation?

This question is raised by someone I've discussed with, after watching the movie "Interstellar", in which a clip showing Cooper and Amelia landing on Miller's planet near a super-massive blackhole and ...
0
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0answers
52 views

James Webb detection capabilities

This question has (in a sense) been asked before, but not adequately answered, so let me put it a different way. How far away could James Webb be from Earth and still detect biosignatues in its ...
4
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1answer
137 views

How could we search for life in TRAPPIST-1 [duplicate]

It is possible to search for life from here, how? What methods could be used? It is possible to look for organic matter? Could we know if there is life according to the components of the planets ...
4
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2answers
222 views

Why search for water?

Most of the news about extraterrestrial search focuses on possibility for existence of water and temperatures like earth. Why do scientists feel this would lead them to extraterrestrial life? After ...
2
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1answer
100 views

UK groups that investigate extraterrestrial life

What are some UK based groups that research astrobiology, especially the chance of extraterrestrial intelligence?
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2answers
172 views

Explaining the Drake Equation on a smaller scale

So me and my friend were planning a video to explain the Drake Equation (within a time limit of 5 minutes), and we needed some help. This video is aimed at explaining the concept to an age group ...
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2answers
60 views

Which elements are an indication of habitable exoplanets?

Using spectroscopy the chemical composition of exoplanets atmosphere is determined. As a scientist, what spectral lines would you look for? Which elements are relevant in pursue of a second earth?
7
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1answer
199 views

How much competition there is for jobs in astronomy compared to other fields of science?

I will soon finish a master's degree in computer science. I have been interested in astronomy for some time, which has included playing around with a Newtonian reflector telescope and reading about ...
13
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2answers
281 views

What earth organisms would survive if they arrived on Mars?

Contaminating other planets is a concern in space exploration. My question is what organisms, or small collections of organisms, from earth would be able form a self-sustaining population on Mars? I'm ...
6
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2answers
427 views

Is axial tilt critical for life?

According to this explanation at the Georgia State University website, Axis Tilt is Critical for Life . . . The Earth's spin axis is tilted 23.5° with respect to the ecliptic, giving ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Is liquid water on Mars such a big leap compared with ice?

I thought we have found bacteria or other kinds of life on Mars. Now it is liquid water. Is there such a big difference between liquid water and iced water?
2
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1answer
30 views

Biosignatures for anaerobic or other early microbiology?

What are some possible atmospheric bio-signatures for a planet with anaerobic life? or even microorganisms before oxygen builds up in the atmosphere? Would there be a way of telling if methane, etc. ...
8
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1answer
127 views

Could the James Webb Space Telescope detect biosignals on exoplanets?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which is slated to launch in 2018 will bring us a better view of exoplanets, but will it be sufficient to detect signs of life on at least some of those worlds? ...
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3answers
90 views

What is the next planned mission that can discover life on another planet? [closed]

I've heard that we have a great shot at finding life on Mars if we just drill deep enough down to the surface to the water and detect if its sterile or not. Are there planned missions to do this? If ...