Posted by Vishva News Reporter on November 18, 2009


Crab Nubulae Supernova Explosion seen first in 1054AD and Spacecraft Image

......Optical, x-ray, infrared and radio technology together with spacecrafts
are currently used in
Astrobiology and Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
in the cosmos above our heads....



 Father Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results on November 19, 2009 of a five-day (November 9-13, 2009)  Astrobiology Conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology – the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos says: 
      -  That believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God who is omnipotent ;

       -  That how can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere....And some aliens could even be free from original sin;

       -  That just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God . This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom, God being omnipotent;

        -  That the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications.... There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of
astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe (meaning non-astrobiologists??)

        -   That science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God.......despite the Catholic Church's condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian astronomer and physicist, Galileo.... mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future....

Astrobiology is a new research field, which studies the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the Universe. This new discipline has been put forward through the establishment of astrobiology centers and grants in the US and Europe.
In a series of workshops, the aims and goals of the US astrobiology program have been defined....

To empower yourself with the overview of ASTROBILOGY...please continue reading at the end of the next webpage of this news-knowledge sharing....With this self-empowerment YOU will find it easier to understand the context of billions of trillions of life-potential "earths" that live around YOU....This fact is stated in the sNskRUt language texts of  vED life sciences knowledge and has been shared on the PVAF web pages....vED states that in over 120 lok (domains of life existence) in a bRHmaaNd (universe) in which we live, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator has created infinite species of animate and inanimate life forms...and the Creator keeps recreating such infinite number of universes in a dimension-time scale which is beyond the comprehension of the current humanity....

Champak Mistry, the vEDik student, who contributes regularly knowledge sharing of life sciences of vED and current modern sciences of last 500 years suggests reading the book entitled "It must be Beautiful - Great Equations of Modern Sciences" (ISBN 1 86207 479 8; published by Granta Publications, London, UK) Edited by Graham Farmelo who is the Head of Science Communication at Science Museum, London, UK and Associate Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, USA...

This book has 11 profoundly deep science- knowledge- based articles written by world famous scientists including a Nobel Prize winner...and in a language that can be understood by majority of literate earthlings...These articles with forward and a afterword gives YOU the origin of how a few scientific equations in the nineteenth and twentieth century riding on the shoulders of original science discoveries of likes Galileo, Newton and others have not only continually changed and keeps on changing progressively our current lifestyle's standard of living... but also leading us to understand the primary search of humans  as to who we are, where we are and what are we for....

And majority of these life changing equations representing natural universal laws were from intuition and explicit and implicit belief in the truth and power of  mathematics in showing the existence of what human eye and other sensory organs including brain cannot see and/or perceive....  

....And Astrobiology appears to take us beyond our earth and directly visible cosmos to the infinite space in which our earth, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy keeps on moving among the billions of other galaxies in which may be the primary human search for self-identity and self-purpose of existence have already been answered by the life-forms we call extra-terrestrials in Astrobiology.....  


Astrobiology Institute logo


Pope Benedict XVI admires the sky in a 2008 file photo. AP

Pope Benedict XVI admires the sky in a 2008 file photo. AP AP

Vatican opens an X file
......Experts called in to study
the possibility of alien life
its implication for the Catholic Church....

(From: Canadian Globe and Mail: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009: By Ariel David; Vatican City - Associated Press)

Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the centre of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.

“The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration,” said Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.

Father Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology – the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.

Father Funes said the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications,” but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.

Chris Impey, an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, said it was appropriate that the Vatican would preside over such a meeting.

“Both science and religion posit life as a special outcome of a vast and mostly inhospitable universe,” he told a news conference Tuesday. “There is a rich middle ground for dialogue between the practitioners of astrobiology and those who seek to understand the meaning of our existence in a biological universe.”

Thirty scientists, including non-Catholics, from the United States, France, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Chile attended the conference, called to explore among other issues “whether sentient life forms exist on other worlds.”

Father Funes set the stage for the conference a year ago when he discussed the possibility of alien life in an interview given prominence in the Vatican's daily newspaper.

“If biology is not unique to the Earth, or life elsewhere differs biochemically from our version, or we ever make contact with an intelligent species in the vastness of space, the implications for our self-image will be profound,” he said.

This is not the first time the Vatican has explored the issue of extraterrestrials: In 2005, its observatory brought together top researchers in the field for similar discussions.

In the interview last year, Father Funes told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that believing the universe may host aliens, even intelligent ones, does not contradict a faith in God.

“How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?” Father Funes said in that interview.

“Just as there is a multitude of creatures on Earth, there could be other beings, even intelligent ones, created by God. This does not contradict our faith, because we cannot put limits on God's creative freedom.”

Father Funes maintained that if intelligent beings were discovered, they would also be considered “part of creation.”



.......and now read another internet take on today's news.....

......Catholic priests, scientists head to Rome
to ponder alien life......

.......Little green men OK - female priests not OK!!!!!.....

(From: THE REGISTER: 10th November 2009: By Joe Fay: Posted in Space )

 The Vatican may be a little closer to deciding how it deals with the tricky problem of extra terrestrial - and most likely non-Catholic - life forms, as it wraps up a conference on astrobiology this week.

The Vatican Observatory has been running a "joint study week" on Astrobiology this week together with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The Vatican has been already deemed 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy, with the Pope kicking off proceedings last December by saying what a standup guy Galileo was, and musing on the pagan origins of the Roman cityscape.

According to Marc Kaufman at the Washington Post, the study week includes sessions on how life might have begun on Earth, what harsh environment microbes on earth point to on other planets, and how life-forms on other planets could be recognized.

Of course, you might be forgiven for thinking the Catholic Church has many of these issues - particularly the first - licked. But the one true church can be broader than expected at times.

As Kaufman points out, NASA is already pondering how the news of extra terrestrial life might affect things down here on Earth.

Clearly, the Vatican is pondering some of the same issues. Some in the Catholic Church don't see a theological problem with the idea of extraterrestrial life per se. God, being omnipotent, would be perfectly at liberty to create other life-forms.

Last year, Vatican Observatory boss José Gabriel Funes told Papal in-house paper L'Osservatore Romano: "To say it with St Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as 'brothers' or 'sisters', why could we not speak of a 'brother alien'? He would also belong to the creation."

Funes even suggested aliens might not suffer from that human burden original sin. Which would arguably make it easier for the Vatican to accommodate alien life, as it wouldn't feel duty bound to covert any aliens it encountered.

But Kaufmann quotes one of the conference's speakers, Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist from Arizona State University, who believes the issue is being downplayed by religious leaders.

"The real threat would come from the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, because if there are beings elsewhere in the universe, then Christians, they're in this horrible bind. They believe that God became incarnate in the form of Jesus Christ in order to save humankind, not dolphins or chimpanzees or little green men on other planets."

Whether we'll see a definitive statement on whether aliens can join the Church of Rome any time soon is debatable. After all, the Vatican has only just welcomed back a chunk of the Church of England, a mere 500 years after Henry VIII broke with Rome. ®



Artist's impression of the extrasolar planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb
orbiting its star 20,000
light-years from Earth;
this planet was discovered with
gravitational microlensing

.....Astrobiology.... Introduction to the Field.....
(From The Dutch Experiment Support Centre website -
which provides general information regarding scientific research in the field of
 gravitational biology / physiology / fluid physics or closely related disciplines)

The origin of stars and planetary systems, and the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe, have long fascinated mankind. There is a broad understanding that life originated from simple precursor molecules and proceeded via more complex molecules to self-replicating, metabolizing entities capable of independent existence and subsequent evolution.

However, the stages and mechanisms that comprise these processes are still poorly understood. The biogenic elements (H, C, N, O, S, P) and organic matter are some of the major constituents of the universe.

Nucleosynthesis of heavy elements in stars, such as carbon, allowed the formation of organic molecules, which are widespread in our Galaxy and beyond.

The discoveries of protoplanetary disks around other stars suggested that our solar system is not longer the only known example of a planetary system in the Universe. The hunt for planets resulted in the detection of more than 50 planets to date circling other stars.

Future instrumentation in planetary detection might eventually show the existence of Earth-like planets capable of sustaining life.

The geological record tells us that life on Earth began very quickly.

The first evidence for microbial life is provided by microfossils which are ~ 3.5 x 109 years old (planet Earth was formed ~ 4.5 x 109 years ago).

During the first billion years our planet provided very hostile conditions for life to develop. Volcanic eruptions from the heated interior and external heavy bombardment by small bodies may have extinguished emerging life on a rapid timescale.

Where and how did life originate ?

Numerous theories for the origin of life exist which are based either on a terrestrial or an extraterrestrial origin. For decades it has been suggested that organic chemistry in a reducing atmosphere in Earth's early history triggered the formation of prebiotic molecules.

To date an idea of life's origin in the ocean is more favoured. The cycle of water through ocean floor volcanic systems produces reducing conditions which may lead to the formation of complex organic molecules.

Another theory claims that impacting prebiotic matter from comets and asteroids could have been the first step to complex life. More than 120 major craters found on Earth prove the importance of violent impacts from space.

The progress in RNA chemistry has strongly helped in reconstructing the "genetic tree" and in revealing steps towards simple self-replicating systems.

It has also been shown that life can flourish in quite extreme environments. The research of hydrothermal systems, permafrost, icy lakes and their inhabitants are a major focus in the field of astrobiology and provide at the same time constraints for the search of life on other planets in our solar system.

The major requirement for life - as we know it - are water, biogenic elements and a source of energy (such as the Sun, geothermal energy, weathering of volcanic rocks etc.).

Apart from planet Earth there are currently three objects in our solar system which may harbor ingredients for life, namely Mars, Europa and Titan.

The current Mars environment is too cold (and the atmosphere is too thin) to retain liquid water on its surface. However, data from the Mars Pathfinder, which landed successfully on Mars in July 1997 suggested widespread flowing water in the previous history of Mars. Water could also be trapped as underground ice on planet Mars.

The moons Europa and Titan are major targets in the search for liquids in the Solar System. Jupiter's moon Europa probably hosts a subsurface water ocean beneath its outer ice crust. What geological processes create the ice rafts and other ice-tectonic processes that are at the origin of prominent surface features on Europa are currently strongly debated. Saturn's moon Titan is of interest because of its atmospheric organic chemical activity. Titan may also harbor a liquid hydrocarbon ocean.

Astrobiology....Where it is now....and where it is going....

Astrobiology is a new research field, which studies the origin, evolution, distribution and destiny of life in the Universe. This new discipline has been put forward through the establishment of astrobiology centers and grants in the US and Europe.

In a series of workshops, the aims and goals of the US astrobiology program have been defined and can be found at

Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary research field, combining astronomy, astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, climate research, and specific fields such as palaeobiology, organic chemistry, geomicrobiology, ecogenomics (genome evolution) and others.

To understand life's origins in the context of planetary environments, numerous space missions and space- and Earth-based experiments are currently being carried out, or planned for the near future. Several space missions organized by both NASA and ESA are in progress, or are well into the planning stage, that have key objectives concerning the nature of extraterrestrial organic chemistry and the search for traces of past or present life.

These include MARS-EXPRESS (to Mars), CASSINI-HUYGENS (to Saturn and Titan), ROSETTA (to comet Wirtanen).

Future space missions, such as more advanced Infrared satellites (SIRTF, FIRST, NGST), an orbiter (or lander) to investigate Jupiter's moon Europa (EUROPA-Orbiter) or space-based telescopes to search for Earth-like planets (DARWIN, TPF-terrestrial planet finder) will build on and extend current mission objectives for life search strategies.

Answering the questions how life originated on Earth is one of the main philosophical challenges of mankind and also of vital importance in the frame of recent planetary detections and the possible emergence of life elsewhere.

Astrobiology is a research field that is currently underemphasized in the Netherlands compared to other large European countries and the US. It is therefore that we organize a meeting to introduce this new research discipline on a national basis, to stimulate collaborations and to form a young generation working on future projects in this research field.

Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund,
Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics, Leiden Observatory.



from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.....

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Nucleic acids may not be the only biomolecules in the Universe capable of coding for life.[1]

Astrobiology (other terms have been exobiology, exopaleontology, and bioastronomy) is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This interdisciplinary field encompasses the search for habitable environments in our Solar System and habitable planets outside our Solar System, the search for evidence of prebiotic chemistry, life on Mars and other bodies in our Solar System, laboratory and field research into the origins and early evolution of life on Earth, and studies of the potential for life to adapt to challenges on Earth and in outer space.[2]

Astrobiology makes use of physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, molecular biology, ecology, planetary science, geography and geology to investigate the possibility of life on other worlds and help recognize biospheres that might be quite different from the Earth's.[3][4] However, astrobiology concerns itself with an interpretation of existing scientific data; given more detailed and reliable data from other parts of the Universe, the roots of astrobiology itself —biology, physics, chemistry— may have their theoretical bases challenged. Much speculation is entertained in the field to give context, and astrobiology concerns itself primarily with hypotheses that fit firmly into existing scientific theories.

Contents of this article:

Overview of Astrobiology....

It is not known whether life elsewhere in the Universe would utilize cell structures like those found on Earth. (Chloroplasts within plant cells shown here.)[5]
The Martian meteorite ALH84001 shows microscopic formations that may have been created by life.

The etymology of astrobiology comes from Greek ?st???, astron, "constellation, star"; ß???, bios, "life"; and -????a, -logia, study. Although astrobiology is an emerging field and still a developing subject, the question of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe is a verifiable hypothesis and thus a valid line of scientific inquiry. David Grinspoon, a planetary scientist, calls astrobiology a field of natural philosophy, grounding speculation on the unknown, in known scientific theory.[6][7] Though once considered outside the mainstream of scientific inquiry, astrobiology has become a formalized field of study. NASA funded its first astrobiology project in 1959 and established an astrobiology program in 1960.[2][8] NASA’s Viking missions to Mars, launched in 1976, included three biology experiments designed to look for possible signs of life. In 1971, NASA funded the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to survey the sky to detect the existence of transmissions from a civilization on a distant planet.

In the 21st century, astrobiology is a focus of a growing number of NASA and European Space Agency Solar System exploration missions. The first European workshop on astrobiology took place in May 2001 in Italy,[9] and the outcome was the Aurora programme.[10] Currently, NASA hosts the NASA Astrobiology Institute and a growing number of universities in the United States (e.g., University of Arizona, Penn State University, and University of Washington), Britain (e.g., The University of Glamorgan[11]), Canada, Ireland, and Australia (e.g., The University of New South Wales[12]) now offer graduate degree programs in astrobiology.

A particular focus of current astrobiology research is the search for life on Mars due to its proximity to Earth and geological history. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Mars has previously had a considerable amount of water on its surface, water being considered to be an essential precursor to the development of carbon-based life.[13]

Missions specifically designed to search for life include the Viking program and Beagle 2 probes, both directed to Mars. The Viking results were inconclusive,[14] and Beagle 2 failed to transmit from the surface and is assumed to have crashed.[15] A future mission with a strong astrobiology role would have been the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, designed to study the frozen moons of Jupiter—some of which may have liquid water—had it not been cancelled. Recently, the Phoenix lander probed the environment for past and present planetary habitability of microbial life on Mars, and to research the history of water there.

In 2011, NASA plans to launch the Mars Science Laboratory rover which will continue the search for past or present life on Mars using a variety of scientific instruments. The European Space Agency has been developing the ExoMars astrobiology rover, which is to be launched on 2018.

The International Astronomical Union regularly organizes major international conferences through its Commission 51: Bioastronomy. Commission 51 - Bioastronomy: Search for Extraterrestrial Life was established by the IAU in 1982 and is now hosted by the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawai'i.

Please click here to continue reading on the Wikipedia learn about what you think does, cannot, should not, and whatever exist out there in the cosmos over our heads.......

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