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2009 Annual Science Report

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Titan Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Prebiotic Chemistry Presentation to Educators

Project Progress

Prebiotic Chemistry: Where can you find it and how do you know when you have found it?

Presented by Dr Patricia Beauchamp. Covered topics such as our understanding of basic definitions of life, pre-biotic chemistry, life in extreme environments and why Titan can be viewed as a prebiotic chemical system

Presented as part of the Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference.
Astrobiologists, planetary scientists and astronomers joined together for a presentation on the latest information on our expanding understanding of the abodes of life on our planet and the prospects for the development of life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond. The objective of the conference was to tell the exciting tale of real-life exploration and new discovery in a way that will excite and inspire students. Discussion topics included defining astrobiology, the abodes of life, pre-biotic chemistry, Earth analogs of extraterrestrial environments and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In addition, other topics for discussion included life detection instruments as well as bio-signatures and protecting other planetary bodies from Earth contamination. Students and teachers from the remote village of Barrow, Alaska participated via video teleconference.

Material from the conference is also used to train Solar System Ambassadors and educators.