Lecture38_LB - LifeintheUniverse Whatislife Shouldwebelooking WhatisLife : Lifeisaselfreplicat

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Life in the Universe What is life? •Is there life elsewhere? •Is there intelligent life elsewhere? •Is there technological life elsewhere? •Have other civilizations visited Earth? •Should we be looking? What is Life? We have an example of one: carbon based life here on earth. •Life is a self-replicating system that extracts energy from its environment to maintain  itself. –So does clay • Life as we know it comes in units of the cell. –Viruses •Life seems to require carbon based organic chemistry.   –May not be necessary, but Si based chemistry does not appear to be rich enough. –On Earth requires water . •Not a big problem since C, N, O, H, H 2 0, and organic compounds exist widely in the  nearby Universe. •Life as we know it is based on amino acids (DNA units).  These seem to be easy enough  to form and may even exist in interstellar space. The Emergence of Life on Earth •Conditions for evolution of organic compounds probably widespread. •Need to evolve these into living units (cells).
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2011 for the course ASTRO 10 taught by Professor Norm during the Spring '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Lecture38_LB - LifeintheUniverse Whatislife Shouldwebelooking WhatisLife : Lifeisaselfreplicat

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