Instructions: A long-standing question that has puzzled the human mind for millennia, and inspired countless movies, asks are we alone in the Universe? Astrobiology, the search for evidence of life beyond Earth, is an exciting scientific field that has its roots in geology, environmental chemistry, and microbiology. In this class we have heard about exotic microbial metabolisms that “breath” metals and use solely inorganic compounds to support life. These raw ingredients are not unique to Earth, suggesting life may exist elsewhere in our Solar System, or on exoplanets beyond our Solar System. In July 2020, NASA launched the Mars 2020 mission with the Perseverance rover to collect data that could be used identify biosignatures of ancient microbial life on the red planet. That is some rad science!
Identify one example of an Earth “analog” that might replicate life beyond Earth or a study that promotes the possibility of life elsewhere. For example, Earth analogs include hydrothermal systems, highly acidic sites, and extreme hypersaline habitats, among others. Alternatively, best bets that might support microbial life in our Solar System include Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) and Europa (a moon of Jupiter), both with evidence of water. Provide a brief 2 or 3 sentence summary of your example and why it is significant.