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The scientific study of the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe; also known as exobiology. Astrobiology embraces branches of biology (for example microbiology, biochemistry, and ecology) in addition to astronomy. Considerations include assessment of the likely conditions required for the origin and development of life, and the means of detecting such life. Investigations such as the study of life in hostile environments on Earth, the search for water on Mars and sampling of the soil, the study of organic molecules in meteorites and comets, the synthesis of prebiotic compounds, and the various SETI programmes based on radio astronomy can be considered part of astrobiology.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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