The 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, from June 24-28, 2019.The iconic sign of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.Seattle's iconic Space Needle.A view of Seattle, Washington, from inside the Space Needle.
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The 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, from June 24-28, 2019.AbSciCon 2019
The iconic sign of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.Aaron Gronstal
Seattle's iconic Space Needle.Aaron Gronstal
A view of Seattle, Washington, from inside the Space Needle.Aaron Gronstal
Oct. 29, 2018
Program News

The Search for Life Near and Far

Abstract submissions are now open.

The Search for Life Near and Far

AbSciCon 2019 is the next conference in a series organized by the astrobiology community. This year’s theme is Understanding and Enabling the Search for Life on Worlds Near and Far. Future missions and observations will aim to further our understanding of diverse planetary environments while fundamental research on the origin and evolution of life on Earth drives our understanding of how life may operate elsewhere.

AbSciCon 2019 will be held 24-28 June 2019 in Bellevue, Washington.

For more information, visit:

The 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, from June 24-28, 2019.
The 2019 Astrobiology Science Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, from June 24-28, 2019.Image credit: AbSciCon 2019.

Session proposal topics were encouraged to span a broad array of topics with strong interdisciplinary themes that address new and emerging areas of research.

Session Announcements for AbSciCon 2019


Exploring the Planetary System of Alpha Centauri

Abstracts are invited for the session entitled “Exploring the planetary system of Alpha Centauri: current knowledge, opportunities, and techniques”. The Alpha Centauri system (AB and Proxima) presents a unique opportunity to detect and characterize a habitable planet in the next decade.

This session aims to survey the current knowledge about the system as well as the opportunities, challenges, instruments, and instrument concepts to detect and characterize the planetary systems of Alpha Centauri, and determine the potential habitability of exoplanets there. This includes studies of binary planet formation, dynamical stability of planetary orbits in the system, limits from current non-detections, as well as expected planet occurrence rates. Techniques and instruments include indirect planet detection with astrometric and RV measurements; direct imaging in optical bands as well as thermal infrared, with current ground-based telescopes, upcoming ELTs, as well as space telescope missions.

Conveners: R. Belikov (NASA Ames), E. Bendek (NASA Ames), F. Marchis (SETI Institute), O. Guyon (U. of Arizona)

Biosignatures in sandstones: ancient to modern, Earth to Mars

Abstracts are being received for this session on biosignatures production, preservation, alteration, or detection, in sandy environments that are modern, ancient or planetary, are welcome. Contributions related to biosignatures in sandstones as potentially detectable by the Mars2020 rover payload (e.g. Raman, XRF, LIBS, multispectral analyses and imagery), and to prepare Mars sample return, are particularly encouraged.

Session conveners: Marion Nachon, Ryan Ewing, Michael Tice, David Flannery, Rohit Bhartia

Alive or not? New strategies and techniques for recognizing biological signatures from the abiotic noise

Abstracts are being received for this session, which concentrates on the search for life and the abiotic conditions that may favor its evolution (habitability). Despite significant scientific and technological progress in sampling and characterizing extreme environments remotely and in situ, a significant obstacle in our search for life beyond Earth is that we still lack a clear understanding of how to recognize its presence beyond the terrestrial evolution context, nor do we fully know how to disentangle its signatures from the myriad of abiotic geochemical processes at play.

This session would address constraining the formation of biosignatures across space and time, and would explore new strategies, techniques, and instruments for recognizing them from abiotic environmental noise. Contributions on experiments where abiotic and biotic factors are considered, field studies in analogue environments and early Earth deposits, as well as flight technologies/instruments for detecting biosignatures from “life as we know it” as well as “life as we don’t know it” are welcome to this session.

Have Comet, Will Travel – How small bodies promote habitable conditions across the solar system?

Abstracts are being accepted for a session focused on the role small bodies play in promoting habitability. Small bodies in the solar system (and other planetary systems) may play a significant role in the promotion, proliferation, dissemination and the cessation of life and its related building blocks.

This session will combine recent insights from experimental, observational and theoretical studies of ice and organic-rich environments of comets and carbonaceous asteroids. Contributions aimed at revealing how the physics and chemistry of small bodies help catalyze and distribute life’s building blocks, across the planetary system, from early to late stages of planetary formation are invited.

Session conveners: Gal Sarid (University of Central Florida), Chris Bennett (FSI & Physics)

Submission deadline: 23 January 2019 23:59 EST

A view of the Seattle Skyline.
A view of the Seattle Skyline.Image credit: Aaron Gronstal.

Among other topics, AbSciCon 2019 will address the following:

  • Star-planet-planetary system interactions and habitability
  • Alternative and agnostic biosignatures
  • Understanding the environments of early Earth
  • Evidence for early life on Earth
  • Subsurface habitability and life
  • Ocean worlds near and far
  • Characterizing habitable zone exoplanets
  • Transition of prebiotic chemistry to biology
  • Energy sources and metabolic pathways in the environment
  • Terrestrial planets orbiting M dwarfs
  • Links: