It’s the study of evolution and the origin, destiny, and distribution of life in the universe. Relying on the biological sciences, space exploration and space technology, the discipline asks: Where did we come from? Are we alone? What is our future on Earth and in space?
Scientists are becoming increasingly hopeful that there may be life elsewhere. Several things encourage them:
- More than a dozen planets have been found outside our solar system.
- Organisms have been discovered living in extreme conditions, above boiling and well below freezing, and miles below the surface under extreme pressure and even in highly acidic conditions.
- Evidence of water or ice has turned up on Mars and a moon of Jupiter, indicating it may be relatively abundant elsewhere.