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2003 Annual Science Report

University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2002 – JUN 2003

Executive Summary

Our research at the University of Washington has centered on three important astrobiological questions: What are the characteristics of planets that can evolve complex organisms? Where might such planets occur? How does biological complexity evolve on a planet, and how might it end?

We are beginning the third year of research into these questions. Below, our results and progress is summarized based on specific research problems defined in our original proposal.

How often, where, and under which conditions do habitable planets form and persist? We define a habitable planet as a solid body capable of supporting life as we know it. The study of extra-solar habitable planets involves a broad interdisciplinary approach that extends from understanding how planets are formed to understanding the conditions that allow such life to originate, survive, and evolve. During the past year (2002-2003), Lucio Mayer and Tom Quinn Mayer and ...

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