Tackling the questions of the universality and the diversity of phototrophic metabolisms is a critical step in our study of Life on a cosmic scale – the purpose of the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology.
UR ASTROBIOLOGY includes two research teams and laboratories, Exotic and Early Life, and collaborates with a large network of national and international researchers.
he EXOTIC team (EXOplanets in Transit: Identification and Characterization), led by Michaël Gillon, axes its research on the detction and study of transiting exoplanets (passing in front of their star once during each orbit)
The Early Life Traces & Evolution-Astrobiology team, led by Emmanuelle Javaux, focus its research on biosphere evolution on the early Earth, from the first traces of life to the origin and diversification of complex life, from more than 3.4 to 0.5 billion years ago, and on biosignatures for the search of life beyond Earth.
Exo-TRAPPIST is based on the part-time use (50%) of two small robotic telescopes (60cm aperture) for the observation of possible or confirmed transiting exoplanets in order to validate their planetary nature and /or to imporve their characterization.
Detect potentially habitable exoplanets around near-by stars in order to constrain the nature, origin, surface conditions, and habitability of these exoplanets and possibly detect chemical traces of life in their atmospheres (biosignatures).
CHEOPS is a ESA space mission luanched in 2019. Its objective is to observe at high resolution the transits of exoplanets in orbit around near-by stars.
The 2022 mission of the ExoMars programme will deliver a European rover, Rosalind Franklin, and a Russian surface platform, Kazachok, to the surface of Mars.
CLUPI is a powerful high-resolution color camera used for observations of outcrops and samples collected by the drill, for geological characterization and search for potential morphological biosignatures .
PI: Inge Loes Ten Kate (NL), co-PIs: Lena Noack (GE), E Javaux (BE)
PIs : Anja Spang (NIOZ); Prof. Dr. Berend Snel (Utrecht Univ), ext coll partner : Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle J. Javaux (Uliege, BE) ; additional partners: Dr. Paul Mason, UU; Dr. Rick Hennekam, NIOZ.
PI: E Javaux (ULiege), co-PI: V Debaille (ULB)
PI: C Heubeck, Jena Univ GE; EJ Javaux, ULiege, BE; T Kakegawa, Tohoku Univ, JP; M van Kranendonk, UNSW, Sydney, AU; S Lalonde, Brest, FR; M Homann, UCL London UK; P Mason, Utrecht Univ, NL; M Tice, Texas A& M, USA
PIs: Debaille V (ULB, coordinator), Claeys P (VUB), Dehant V (UCL), Goderis S (VUB), Javaux EJ (ULiège), Karatekin Ö (ROB), Mattielli N (ULB), Robert S (BISA), Vandaele A C (BISA), Vanhaecke F (U Gent).
ELiTE: identify the first traces of life and see their evolution and implications for astrobiology