2004 Annual Science Report

University of California, Los Angeles Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Executive Summary

The UCLA astrobiology research program progressed on four fronts in the past nine months. These four fronts, or themes, are: 1) extrasolar planetary systems and the origins of organic molecules; 2) habitability of planets and their satellites; 3) Earth’s early environment and life; and 4) evolution of biological complexity. Research completed as part of our first year of participation in the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s third Cooperative Agreement has provided some answers pertaining to key questions in astrobiology, including: Is there evidence for life-sustaining water associated with rocky bodies in extrasolar planetary systems? Are terrestrial planets likely to be stable in the wide variety of planetary configurations observed around other stars? What controls the potential habitability of Jupiter’s Galilean moons? What was the source of the bolide that collided with Earth in the late Eocene? When did life first appear on Earth? How can transition metal ... Continue reading.

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