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Astronomy - Astrobiology | Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies

Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies

Hanslmeier, Arnold, Kempe, Stephan, Seckbach, Joseph (Eds.)

2012, XIV, 534 p.

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  • Experts from 20 countries discuss life on Earth and possible life on planets
  • Each contributed chapter contains numerous references for further study
  • Each chapter is written as a review on a specific topic

This volume covers aspects of life on Earth with all its diversity and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. It presents contributions by experts from 20 countries who discuss astrobiology emphasizing life “as we know it” to extraterrestrial places. In the chapters on life in the Cosmos, the authors emphasized in particular certain planets and satellites within the Solar System.

On Earth, life also exists at the edge with harsh limitations (such as extremophiles growing in severe environments). Some chapters address the extremophiles in niches of microbial life in terrestrial halo-environments, the local life without water, and the dormancy of polar cyanobacteria, while others focus on microorganisms dwelling in severe conditions such as lava caves. All those conditions of harsh environments, including the Antarctic biota, could serve as analogues for other planets.

Special stress is given to the frozen worlds of Mars; Europa, the satellite of Jupiter; and life in the Saturn neighborhood with its moon Titan. The subsurface under the icy layers of these celestial bodies may contain large oceans that have extant or extinct microbial life. Other chapters discuss the habitability of exoplanets, Galacticpanspermia, molecules, and prokaryotes below the planetary surface, halophile life in the Universe, and the SETI search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the Cosmos.

Content Level » Upper undergraduate

Keywords » Astrobiology - Exoplanets - Life in the University

Related subjects » Astrobiology - Astronomy - Astrophysics and Astroparticles

Table of contents 

List of Contributors
Pathways to Life on Earth and Other Planetary Bodies; Joseph Seckbach
Introduction; Emeritus Giora Shaviv
Terestrial Halophylies, Evaporite Environments and The Search for Life on Mars; Roberto Barbieri and Nunzia Stivaletta
Vescicular Basalts as a Niche for Microbial Life; Barbara Cavalazzi, Frances Westall and Sherry L. Cady
Seti: Assessing Imaginative Proposals; Stephen P. Cook
Molecules Between the Stars; Nick Cox
Prokaryotic Communities Below Planetary Surfaces and Their Involvement In The Nitrogen Cycle; Friedrich W. Gerbl, Gerhard W. Weidler, Angelika Breitfuss, Marion Dornmayr-Pfaffenhuemer and Helga Stan-Lotter
Extrasolar Planets; Eike W. Guenther
Life Without Water: The Sleeping Chironomid and Other Anhydrobiotic Invertebrates and Their Utilization in Astrobiology; Oleg Gusev And Takashi Okuda
Habitability and Cosmic Catastrophes; Arnold Hanslmeier
Glaciopanspermia: Seeding the Terrestrial Planets with Life? Joop M. Houtkooper
Chemical Evolution In Primeval Seas; Kamaluddin
Terrestiral Analogues for Early Planetary Oceans: Niuafo‘Ou Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and their Geology, Water Chemistry and Stromatolites; Stephan Kempe and Józef Kazmierczak
Comparison of Environment Types with Liquid Water on Mars; Akos Kereszturi
Criteria of Possible Habitability of Earth-Like Exoplanets; Leonid V. Ksanfomality
Origin of the Genetic Code and Abiotic Synthesis of Organic Compounds; Zita Martins
Dynamical Aspects for the Earth’s Habitability; Elke Pilat-Lohinger
A Dynamic Scheme to Assess Habitability of Exoplanets; Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Abel Méndez, Alberto G. Fairén, Philip Von Paris, Carol Turse, Grayson Boyer, Alfonso F. Davila, And Marina Resendes De Sousa António
Astrobiology of Titan; Michael Simakov
The Likelihood of Halophilic Life in the Universe; Helga Stan-Lotter, Sergiu Fendrihan, Marion Dorn-Mayr-Pfaffenhuemer, Tatjana K. Polacsek, Andrea Legat, Anita K. Holzinger, Michael Grösbacher And Andreas Weigl
Production of Dormant Stages and Stress Resistance of Polar Cyanobacteria; Daria Tashyreva and Josef Elster
Can the Evolution of Multicellularity be Anticipated in the Exoploration of the Solar System? H. P. De Vladar and J. Chela-Flores
Antarctica as Model for the Possible Emergence of Life on Europa; Suman Dudeja, Aranya B. Bhattacherjee and Julian Chela Flores
The Likelihood of Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life; Rob Hengeveld
The Astrobiological Potential of Polar Dunes on Mars; Ákos Kereszturi, Szaniszló Bérczi, András Horváth, Tamás Pócs, András Sik And Szathmáry Eörs
Life in Earth’s Lava Caves: Implications for Life Detection on Other Planets; Diana E. Northup, Jennifer J.M. Hathaway, Jessica R. Snider, Monica Moya, Matthew G. Garcia, Maria L.N. Enes Dapkevicius, Cristina Riquelme Gabriel, Fred D. Stone, Michael N. Spilde, And Penelope J. Boston
Life in the Saturnian Neighborhood; Athena Coustenis, F. Raulin, Georgios Bampasidis And Anezina Solomonidou

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