Life on Earth’s Ceiling
Biologists once thought that the stratosphere of Earth was uninhabitable due to its low pressure, high radiation, and absence of water and nutrients. However, recent studies have confirmed that microbes survive in this atmospheric region.
“Life surviving at high altitudes challenges our notion of the biosphere boundary,” says David Smith of the University of Washington in Seattle.
With funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Smith and his colleagues are studying where these microorganisms come from, where they are going and what their evolutionary trajectory has been. The research should provide insights into a class of hardy microorganisms that can survive at the fringes of what we Earthlings consider habitable, both here and elsewhere.
- Online Streaming of the Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium and Evolution (TDE) 2014 Workshop
- MAVEN Enters Orbit at Mars
- How Did Life on Earth Begin?
- MAVEN Mars Orbit Insertion Briefing
- Follow AbGradE 2014 Live on SAGANet!
- In the Zone. The Venus Zone: Seeking the Twin of Our Twin Among the Stars
- Simulated Atmospheres of Alien Worlds
- The Hypatia Catalogue
- Astrobiology and Theology
- Update From Mars: Curiosity in the Clouds