Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the Universe, beginning with Earth, the only planet with a biosphere known to date.
hat is the origin of life? How is it evolving? What are its limits? What is its frequency in the Universe? Which traces of life or biosignatures should be sought to reconstruct its history on Earth, or to detect it elsewhere in the solar system or beyond? With what instruments and space missions? Under what conditions is it possible elsewhere?
Questions of origins are central in astrobiology: origin of rocky (exo) planets, origins of life, biological innovations, complex life (unicellular and multicellular), metabolisms such as photosynthesis, etc.
Astrobiology is, by definition, multidisciplinary, ranging from astrophysics to biology, and including geology, chemistry, planetary sciences, engineering sciences, history of science and philosophy, to try to answer these fundamental questions which challenge everyone.
The UR Astrobiology aims to bring together and stimulate ULiege expertise in astrobiology, to create new synergies and interdisciplinary national and international research projects, to train young researchers, to raise awareness among students and the general public, and finally to increase the visibility of this field developed for 20 years in the USA, in expansion in Europe (the European Astrobiology Institute) and elsewhere, and of interest not only to science but also to society.