From time immemorial, man has been gazing at the sky, and predicting the stars as campfires quite far away from us and marveled whether they were the lone survivors in creation. The prehistoric Greeks debated about the planet we dwell on as the sole support for existence, however, their deficiency in scientific knowledge and advancement in technology made them incapable of arriving upon the true facts. In the later part of the 20th century, the concurrent findings in the chances of the bacterial remnants existing in one of the meteorite of Martian, origin, together with the discovery of the earliest planets that orbit many stars, gave them a second thought on the subject, with a foresight into the contributions of science ahead. This pre-historic and basic issue was gravely reconsidered in the 21st century by the latest spheres of Astrobiology that exploits the necessary scientific and technological competency.
These queries comprise of the subjects given below:
- How life was created
- How life evolved
- The surrounding conditions needed for survival of life
- The boundaries and limitations essential for the existence of life?
- How life appears in different planets
- The question of the existence of life other than in our Universe
- How it is possible for us to monitor and discover its fitness for habitation – or the life on earth that exists
- The question arises on the prediction of life ahead of the planet Earth and further
Astrology relates to the knowledge of life in the cosmos. The research of life beyond the Earth calls for a thorough knowledge of what life is, and also what kind of surrounding atmosphere sustains it; also the stellar course and the system of planets. For this knowledge Astrobiology unifies the technology and information in the diverse branches of biology, astronomy, geology, planetary science, biology, molecular biology, geology, chemistry, oceanography, atmospheric science and aeronautical Engineering and geography. It is possible for Astro-biologists to conduct a study only on single scientific information, however, frequently Astro-biologists comprising from diverse disciplines of Science research in a joint effort in order to scrutinize complicated issues that is not answerable through a single branch of science. This is answered by the given themes.
This also aids in understanding the biospheres, possibly different from that of the earth. Besides, the pre-historic life is a part and parcel of a branch of Astrobiology, which, on its own, relates to the analysis of the statistics available on hand; accessing an insight and exhaustive trustworthy statistics obtained from all over the solar system, the ancestry of Astrobiology to its own with – chemistry, physics and biology- contributing to their theoretical roots. Even though assumption invites circumstance, Astrobiology relates basically to its own concerning hypotheses quite appropriate to the prevailing scientific knowledge.
Probably the chemistry of life started following this Big Bang, that took place 13.8 billion years before, at a time when human habitation began, and then the universe was just 10 to 17 million years of age. Consistent with the panspermia hypothesis, (the theory that life on the earth originated from microorganisms or chemical precursors of life present in outer space ) the distribution of microscopic life by asteroids, meteoroids and other tiny bodies of the solar system, are likely to take place all over the Earth. In accordance with the research circulated in 2015 in the month of August, mighty galaxies are much preferred for the existence and growth of planets when compared to the tiny galaxies such as the Milky Way galaxy. However, the Earth is the only known living planet. Approximations of inhabitable regions encircling the remaining stars, together with the findings of hundreds of additional solar planets and recent findings of the utmost point of habitation down on this planet, explains the possibility of life in several other regions in the galaxies, which were regarded earlier as impossible. Latest research on Mars by the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, are exploring proof of very old life and also plain lands connected to very old lakes or rivers where there was possibility of life. The basic mission of NASA on Mars is the exploration of proof of habitation, organic molecules on the Mars and taphonomy (connected to fossils).
Origin of the Word Astrobiology
The name Astrobiology is the etymological derivation of the Greek word “Astron”, i.e. “Constellation stars”, explained as “Life; and -, – Logia, study. Astrobiology has diverse similar meanings; but, all these synonyms were framed considering the vital science, that has implication to its progress of biology and astronomy.
Astrobiology Is Still Young A Field
As the field of Astrobiology is comparatively in its infancy, its future is promising and secure. The research on Astrobiology possesses a promising future in the way in which the agencies like the European Space Agency and National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) have planned for the present and future missions in space. For instance, several current missions concentrate on discovering planets in this solar system, by identifying icons that symbolize the past, present or those of the ancestor of living beings. This comprises Titan (Cassini-Huygens) and Mars (Pathfinder, Phoenix, Global Surveyors, are several others).
NASA’S Interest in Astrobiology
This field of science is one which is growing and evolving, the inquisitiveness in investigating the universe to find where else in the universe, life can exist, is a hypothesis that substantiates and convinces the findings of science. Even though Astrobiology was earlier thought of as out of the boundaries of scientific findings, it has turned up to become a formal area of study.
The curiosity of NASA in Exobiology was initiated with the progress of the U.S. Space Program. In the year 1959, and it bestowed upon NASA the responsibility for its initial exobiology project. Further, in 1960, NASA established an Exobiology Program, and this is presently one among the 4 chief components of NASA’s Astrobiology Program
Progress in the study of Astrobiology, surveillance astronomy and unearthing huge assortments of extremophiles having exceptional abilities in flourishing in severe atmospheres over the Earth, made guesses that there is a possibility of life flourishing on several other earthly bodies of the universe. The investigation of life on Mars, because of its nearness to the Earth and also because of the geological narration is the ongoing emphasis of Astrobiology research studies. There are emerging reasons to propose that Mars earlier contained a good amount of superficial water, which shows an inevitable indication of the progress of life based on the availability of carbon
The majority of research done by Astrobiology connected to astronomy comes under the group of extra solar planet (i.e. exo-planet) discovery. The theory is that, in case there is life on Earth, and then the possibilities are there for occurrence of life on many other planets possessing identical attributes. As such, many instruments intended for the detection Exo-planets as big as the Earth, are regarded, prominently as NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA’s Darwin plan, but, these two were rejected. In March 2009, NASA launched the Kepler mission, and in 2006, the COROT space mission was launched by the Space agency in France. In the line of progress, there are many efforts carried out on the earth that are less motivated.
The objective leading to this mission is besides, detecting the planets as big as the Earth, by straight off, sensing the light emerging from the planet by spectroscopic studies on examination of planetary spectra, the fundamental structure of the atmosphere or/and surface of an extra-solar planet. This information helps in assessing the chances of life on the planet. The Virtual Planet laboratory, which is a group of NASA doing research, is adopting computer modeling to produce diversified virtual planets investigating their resemblance, when viewed through Darwin or TPF. There is a ray of hope that when these missions are proved, it is possible to cross check their spectra with the spectra of the virtual planets, where the existence of life is determined.