The search for life beyond the Earth is gaining speed as technology starts to catch up to humanity’s imagination. Yet what evidence of “life” are we looking for? Louisa Preston, a lecturer in planetary science and astrobiology at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, explores this question through the study of terrestrial biology and geology, allowing for predictions to be made as to what extraterrestrial life might be like and how it might be found.
Through the exploration of life—its origins, history, and beyond—and how its biosignatures can be preserved within rocks and ice for billions of years, multiple worlds in the Solar System have been revealed to be habitable for life, either in the past or even today. Preston’s job is to find the fingerprints of this life buried within their geological history. She discusses how the race to remotely detect the first sign of alien life has begun.
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