AstrobiologyJosh Pryor- Spring 2011, Zayed Albazian Fall 2012, Judy Tan Spring 2014
Astrobiology is the science concerned with life in space.


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Extreme life on other planets is one of the most common focuses for astrobiologists. To understand "Extreme life" we must understand what the word means. Extreme means that something that is the most remote in any direction; outermost or farthest: the extreme edge of a field, or being in or attaining the greatest or highest degree. Life on the other hand is a little more archaic to define. How is it we know something is alive? Crystals grow and multiply, fire consumes and grows, viruses attack and use a host to live. But how do we KNOW if they're alive?

The Definition of Life has no universal agreement or understanding. The general acceptance of the word "Life" shows with the following:
1. Organization: Living organisms have one or more cell. These cells are the basis for life.
2. Metabolism: Metabolism produces energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (synthesis) and decomposing organic matter (catalysis). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
3. Growth: Growth is when you have a higher rate of synthesis then catalysis. When this happens all of the organisms parts get get bigger.
4. Adaptation: Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the individual's heredity.
5. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion: the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
6. Reproduction: The division of one cell to form two new cells is reproduction. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.

Putting both of these definitions into a word, we conclude that the "Extreme life" is either far away or under extreme conditions with at least one of the 6 definitions listed above.

A few methods that astrobiologists use to conclude that life could exist on other planets is to study life on our planet under extreme circumstances. This is because the environment in space and on other planets is so extreme in itself. Research has located the source of iron that bacteria and tiny plants on the ocean floor use to survive. Hydro-thermal vents release pyrite nano particles that are so small they become dispersed in the ocean to form a potential food source for life in the deep sea. This could easily lead us to believe that any moons or planets with liquid water on it's surface could hold life such as these bacterium. Another example is that
by studying life in the hot springs of a volcanic crater in Siberia, scientists have discovered bacteria that produce and consume carbon monoxide. This could lead us to believe that volcanic planets and moons harbor life such as these bacterium.

http://www.astrobio.net/hottopic_origins_extremelife.php author- Helen Matsos
http://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/xtremelife/what_is_life.php author- does not list.

Astrobiology Finds: In the last few years, a mars rover discovered water on mars while it was "stuck" in some sort of ditch (picture in the 5th link on the page.) From resent studies, astrobiologists are very optimistic that life is or could have been in this "fluid." We do not know what exactly is in the fluid because the mars rover can not send us back that kind of biological data. Other finds in space are hard to find for sure, mostly because we haven't landed on many objects in space. As we progress farther into the uncertain future, astrobiologists are very certain that we will uncover plethoras of life forms across the universe.

http://www.astrobio.net/index.php?option=com_retrospection&task=detail&id=3725 author- //NASA/JPL// news release
http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Astrobiology_Top_10_Trapped_Rover_Finds_Evidence_Of_Water_On_Mars_999.html author- not listed
mars-mera-tracks-cirlce-work-lg.jpg -Credit: NASA/JPL

ALL links were helpful except the ones done by NASA. NASA's were good, but I did not get all of the information I hoped to get from them.

Today's Astrobiology:
Icebreaker is a lander mission which is proposed for a 2018 launch to test the ice-rich grounds on Mars to seek significant concentrations of organics.
astrobio.net
Europa Clipper is the concept proposal by NASA to see if Jupiter's moon Europa would find conditions suitable for life.



Astrobiology.com

  • http://www.astrobiology.com/
  • Author: SpaceRef Interactive Inc. The information given in this website is very trustworthy. It is put together by a group of astronomers that are focused on present astronomical biological findings.
  • Last Updated: Monday December 8, 2012. This website is updated daily with new and interesting findings. You'll be able to find the newest and most present findings here on this website.
  • Date Reviewed: April 20, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: - The information given in this site is significantly astounding. The website gives background of life found on each planet in out solar systems with cool interesting articles of information as well.
  • Readability and Clarity: Astrobiology is clear and understandable to read. The information on each page has sub headers for you to follow what topic you're reading. Each page also has images for the reader to understand more visually. Whether you're a research student or internet surfer, this website is easily processed for anyone who is interested in reading about astrobiology.
  • Ease of Navigation:The navigation on this website is relatively easy due to the fact is has various colors on the links of subjects you wish to read upon. This whole website is based around the topic of life living outside of our Earth.

Scientificamerican.com

  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/extraterrestrial-life
  • Author: Editor-in-Cheif Mariettee DiChristina This website is put together by the magazine Scientific American Press. It is maintained by and business that is very recognized in the science community.
  • Last Updated: December 10, 2012
  • Date Reviewed: April 20, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: Scientific American is a reliable source to use for information. Very interesting to read about extraterrestrial life in our solar system. This website has a reputation of biological information.
  • Readability and Clarity If you're looking for some cool astrobiology stories to chat with friends, or inexperienced astronomy student, this website is a great source to use. Not many images used to visualize information but excellent source of readings.
  • Ease of Navigation To function this website properly you may need to know how to get around topics and articles. In order to find astrobiological related stories you must use the search bar engine on the website.

Newscientist.com

  • http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9943-top-10-controversial-pieces-of-evidence-for-extraterrestrial-life.html
  • Author: John Pickell This is an article that states the best controversial topics that Alien life does exist. Put together by one person.
  • Last Updated: September 2006
  • Date Reviewed April 20, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: The facts on this page are up to date due to the timeline sequence that supports the information. John Pickell uses timelines to support the evidence of Alien life in our solar system. He persuades us with his evidence that have been tested simultaneously.
  • Readability and Clarity Debaters, politicians, and scientists can find much use of this website. John Pickell emphasizes on persuading the audience with his evidence that there is extraterrestrial life out there. All information is easy to read to due the organization of sequential order.
  • Ease of Navigation Navigation is easy once you clicked the URL. You just need to click on the dates to read about each evidence that occurred during that time period. The search engine provided on this website provides a variety of more pages to read upon astrobiology for beginners.

Space.com

  • http://www.space.com/search-for-life/
  • Author: TechMediaNetwork.com Controls and edits this website. They use this website to connect and influence people with the knowledge of space.
  • Last Updated: December 2012
  • Date Reveiwed: April 20, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: This website is accurate written and information discovered by SETI scientists.
  • Readability and Clarity: The clarity of this website is fairly easy to understand for anyone. The big font texts and images help the readers understand the articles and topics they are reading about. Also, some side comment jokes are put into the information for some good laughs.
  • Ease of Navigation: The easiness of navigating this site on a set scale is 1. All the information is given to the reader by just clicking what interesting information they want to read about astrobiology. Space.com's search navigation bar is open to use for the readers to find more biologically information in space.


Judy Tan Spring 2014
Learn.Genetics.edu
  • http://learn.genetics.utah.edu
  • Author: University of Utah of the Health Sciences sustain this website with useful biological related information as well as astrobiology. Science and health experts from the university stress to translate science information for non-experts.
  • Overview: This website's purpose to connect science research information to inform people who don't know much about health environmental sciences. The information you will find on this website is all biology related information; genetics, human health, cell biology, etc. They are here to help people understand these sciences better in the virtual world. They even have virtual math and science labs.
  • Last Updated: April 21, 2014
  • Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: The information is up to date by students in the university, and their research. They specialize in biology.
  • Readability and Clarity: This website includes a lot of visualization. This website can be used by young kids or even teenagers. This is a fun clickable website with modernized fancy links to watch what you're reading through a moving image/video.
  • Ease of Navigation: Extremely easy to navigate once URL is clicked, you can click straight into the astrobiology section or if you want to get a better idea of biology first, there is information leading you up to that as well. Nicely colorful website.

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Phoenix.arizona.edu

  • http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mars141.php
  • Author: Led by Peter H. Smith Principal Investigator of The University of Arizona. He is supported by a science team of CO-I's with project management in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Overview: This website is used to emphasize the Phoenix Mars Mission Lander. They use this website to project the information they collect from the lander. They are currently studying what sorts of life is on Mars. Also why it was concluded to why they found water on Mars.
  • Last Updated: N/A
  • Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: The information given on the website is accurate due to the updated feedback from the Phoenix Mars Mission Lander. They manage this mission and sustain all information that is collected.
  • Readability and Clarity: I would recommend this website to be more geared towards students who are researching information for astrobiology. You would need some astronomy background knowledge in order to understand what the text is saying.
  • Ease of Navigation: Relatively easy to navigate since the URL takes you directly to more information about Life in space and on Mars. You can explore more about their Mars Mission and blog forum.

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Astronomy.com

  • http://www.astronomy.com/search?q=astrobiology
  • Author: Astronomy.com is brought forth from a wide team of magazine editors. This website is used for Astronomy Magazine to post articles of information on the web. There are groups of contributors, editors, graphic designers, who sustain this site for internet surfers and astronomy learners.
  • Overview: This website is built upon their own Astronomy Magazine. Any article you wish to pull up from their magazine is right here on the website. The writers and editors of this website are astronomy enthusiasts who are dedicated to provide information to those who are non- astronomically influenced.
  • Last Updated: April 21, 2014
  • Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: The information on this website is maintained daily. These facts of information are reliable from researchers worldwide and are posted on this website.
  • Readability and Clarity: This website can be used by journalists, researchers, or internet surfers. You are able to read about whatever you astronomically want by typing it in the search navigation bar.
  • Ease of Navigation: This website is easy to navigate since the site is astronomy based. The URL given leads directly to posts about Astrobiology. Topics can be more narrowed down by the search bar.
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ABCScience.com

  • http://www.abc.net.au/science/tag/browse.htm?topic=latest&tag=astronomy-space
  • Author: ABC Science is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's online information system of science. The website is administered by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, and Research.
  • Overview: This website's purpose is to provide online science services to the internet. Daily science news can be found here in many different forms; radio, text, lectures, etc. You can talk to experts on any topic of science you wish. These topics vary from astrobiology to health and medicine sciences.
  • Last Updated: April 16, 2014
  • Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014
  • Reviewed By: Judy Tan
  • Accuracy: This online website is accurate and up to date. They also won a 2008 Prix Italia Prize and 2008 AIMA, for best health and environment website.
  • Readability and Clarity:The website is meant for students in particular. The perfect website to research articles,videos and even live pod casts.
  • Ease of Navigation: This website can be a little tricky due to all the information and broad subjects this website holds. It's safe to just use the search engine to research to go directly to a certain topic.


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Stanford.edu

  • http://www.stanford.edu/group/astrobiology/cgi-bin/?page_id=11
  • Author: The Stanford Astrobiology course is ran by Stanford University. Stanford University is one of the world's leading and teaching institution.
  • Overview: This website is to provide online lectures directly from Stanford University. They want to provide information on a graduate based level. You will find a number of astrobiological topics on this site which have lectures from professors at the university.
  • Last Updated: 2011
  • Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014
  • Accuracy: Each clickable topic has a free online lecture provided by professors at Stanford University. Also images included.
  • Readability and Clarity: Each lecture is video based. Reading the text below the videos are optional. Most information is in video. College students will process this information more efficiently due to the the school oriented foundation.
  • Ease of Navigation: Once the URL is clicked, topics shown on the left hand side are shown with images. It is easy to navigate by just choosing what topic you would like to listen too.



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