Exobiology, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Exobiology is a predominantly speculative field of biology that considers the possibility of extraterrestrial life and its possible nature. It also necessarily includes the concept of artificial life, since any form of life with the ability to evolve naturally in a conceivable way could be created elsewhere in the laboratory using futuristic technology. It also includes the hypothesis of a source of life on Earth through Panspermia.

The geneticist Eugene Koonin believes that the origin of life on Earth alone is so unlikely to be hypothesized that it should be manifested on various infinite universes. Computer simulations of vital life processes have made it possible to explore alternative life forms (such as lymphoid DNA or life based on silicon instead of carbon) in order to determine what their characteristics might be. The search for extraterrestrial life is, of course, of great interest to the exobiologists. Some argue that the number of Extraterrestrial intelligence planets can be evaluated by Drake’s equation if and when the values of its variables can be determined.


US radio astronomer Frank Drake developed an equation in which the number of extraterrestrial civilizations is dependent on the product of a number of factors. Another subject associated with exobiology is Fermi’s paradox, which suggests that if intelligent life was common in the universe there should be obvious signs of it. A test in support of the existence of elementary extraterrestrial life forms could come from the examination of meteorites dropped in Antarctica, which is supposed to come from the planet Mars.

In any case, the original hypothesis about the possibility that bacteria transported from one world to another could survive has received, indirectly, at least one partial confirmation. In the context of Apollo 12 mission in 1969, the astronaut Pete Conrad had, among other things, the task of bringing Earth pieces to Surveyor 3, an automatic probe landed on the moon in 1967. 

This module – a lander – had been exposed Cold and vacuum space for 33 months, with thermal oscillations of the order of 500 degrees, from about -250 ° to + 250 ° Celsius. The mission was to look at the effect, the instruments, the prolonged exposure in space. Conrad picked up the Surveyor 3 camera and brought it back to Earth. Scientists have discovered microscopic organisms that have now been dissected. The astonishing thing was that once a microbiologist made a preparation of these organisms they started to be active as if nothing had happened in those 33 months spent on the Moon.


This experience has shown that bacteria can survive in space void. Life is capable of resisting and proliferating in sites where environmental conditions can be termed “extreme.” This topic is also of interest to exobiology, as the analysis of terrestrial habitats can guide scholars to the selection of extraterrestrial environments to be analyzed to look for life. 

Exobiology, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.



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Exobiology, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.