The final session in the online discussion of the NASA Astrobiology Roadmap is today from 4-5 pm eastern.
Go to Astrobiology Future to sign in to the live web chat. Questions and comments will be taken both from call-ins and from written questions.
The online discussion will be moderated by Dr Francis McCubbin from UNM, Dr Sean Raymond from Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, and yours truly...
The live session will, as with the other Roadmap sessions, be followed by a week long opportunity to input questions, ideas and topics for discussion at The Astrobiology Future Forum.
- The four questions identified to kick-off the discussion are:
- Is life a chemical consequence of thermodynamics or did it emerge in spite of thermodynamics?
- Will we ever be able to uniquely identify fossils of microorganisms in the rock record of another planet given the absence of biologically exclusive chemical and morphologic signatures?
- Organic molecules can be produced a wide variety of inorganic chemical processes, what geologic conditions are needed to promote the concentration and complexification of organics towards abiogenesis?
- What factors determine the amount of water delivered to planets in a star's habitable zone and the availability of that water for participation in chemical reactions?
As I have noted before, it is critically important that the community in general, and junior researchers in particular, provide input, questions and ideas.
If you don't, I'll decide your research priorities for you.