Astrobiology: Extreme Life –
Hot springs and early life on Earth, and Mars?
This is the keynote talk of Spaceward Bound New Zealand for Youth. Professor Kathleen Campbell from University of Auckland sets the scene for the week’s activities.
Astrobiology includes study of extreme environments and their biota to help us understand the conditions under which early life may have established itself and flourished billions of years ago. Finding the extremes under which life on Earth can survive may also help us find life elsewhere. Hot springs on land and in the sea are possible settings for early life on Earth and potentially Mars. They contain extremophile microorganisms that become rapidly entombed in minerals forming from the thermal waters, thus making them potential time capsules in stone, ready for discovery by astrobiologists, rovers and astronauts who one day may be combing the surface of Mars in search of past life there.
Watch this video to learn about what life is, why we are here and whether we are alone in the Universe!