Springer, 2013. — 419 p.Is Earth the right model and therefore our Earth-centric view the only universal key to understand habitability, the origin and maintenance of life? This book tries to give answers on this question. It gives insights into the nature of planets and their potential to harbor life as well as the role of life itself as an engine to increase the habitability of planets and satellites. Knowledge of different disciplines in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Planetology and Physics are the driving force for the discussion what might be the clues to classify a planetary body as a habitable object. The role of the atmosphere, solar radiation, magnetism, tectonics, mineral composition, liquid water availability and the interactions with life are in the focus of the general discussion. Earth serves as the reference system to get an approximation of the factors which might be important for classification of a celestial body as a habitable object. Results from field studies and those obtained from laboratory studies in planetary simulation facilities will help to elucidate if some of the planets and satellites in our solar system are potentially habitable for terrestrial life forms. The discussion is also enlarged in particular to exo-planets and their potential to be habitable. Further, recent technologies are presented in this book which might be suitable for remote or in situ identification of habitable environments and life as we know it. Instrumentation, detection devices, space projects and space mission designs to search for habitable niches and life is part of this work and gives insights into the challenges we might confront if we pursue the main task to detect life. The initial step of these exploration endeavors might be to discover first habitable environments and then to look after life forms with life detecting instrumentation in the discovered habitable niches.Parameters for Habitability, Habitable Zones and Life: Energy, Liquid Solvent, Information The Habitable Zone: Basic Concepts (by Stephen Kane). Exoplanets: Criteria for Their Habitability and Possible Biospheres (by John Lee Grenfell, Heike Rauer and Philip von Paris). The Habitable Zone and The Generalized Greenhouse Effect (by Giora Shaviv and Smadar Bressler, Nir J. Shaviv). The Influence of UV Radiation on Exoplanets’ Habitability (by Orion Talmi and Giora Shaviv). Factors of Planetary Habitability (by Rob Hengeveld). Bio-relevant microscopic liquid subsurface water in planetary surfaces? (by Dirk Möhlmann). Impact Craters and the Evolution of Life Organic molecules in lunar ice: a window to the early evolution of life on Earth (by Dirk Schulze-Makuch). Field Studies in Planetary Analogs, Simulations and Space Experiments with Relevance to Habitability Experimental simulation of possible origins of life (Conceptual and Practical Issues) (by Henry Strasdeit and Stefan Fox). Simulation and measurement of extraterrestrial conditions for experiments on habitability with respect to Mars (by Andreas Lorek and Alexander Koncz). The Role of Terrestrial Analogs in the Exploration of The Habitability of Martian Evaporitic Environments (by Roberto Barbieri). Search for Habitable Worlds in the Solar System and Beyond Microbial scale habitability on Mars (by Frances Westall). Interior and surface dynamics of terrestrial bodies and their implications for the habitability (by Lena Noack and Doris Breuer). Exoplanets and habitability (by Stephen Kane). Alternatives to Earth-Like Life Extremophiles on Alien Worlds: What Types of Organismic Adaptations are Feasible on Other Planetary Bodies (by Dirk Schulze-Makuch). Brown Dwarfs and Black Smokers. The Potential for Photosynthesis using Radiation from Low-Temperature Black Bodies (by John A. Raven and Sean Donnelly). Application of Existing Technologies for the Detection of Habitable Planets and the Search for Life Detection of Habitable Planets and The Search for Life (by Heike Rauer, Juan Cabrera, Stefanie Gebauer, John Lee Grenfell). Raman Spectral Signatures in the Biogeological Record: An Astrobiological Challenge (by Howell G. M. Edwards, Ian B. Hutchinson, Richard Ingley). Application of Raman Spectroscopy as In Situ Technology for the Search for Life (by Ute Böttger, Antje Hermelink, Jean-Pierre de Vera, Jörg Fritz, Iris Weber, Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Heinz-Wilhelm Hübers). Future Space Missions for Life Detection Habitability on Kepler worlds: Are Moons Relevant? (by Julian Chela-Flores). Clean In-Situ Subsurface Exploration of Icy Environments in the Solar System (by B. Dachwald, S. Ulamec and J. Biele). Summary and Conclusions Theoretically possible habitable Worlds – but soon will we get answers by observations? (by Jean-Pierre de Vera and Joseph Seckbach).
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