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TheSpaceWriter's Ramblings

Viruses on Earth (and Beyond?)

6 Jul 2020, 21:59 UTC
Viruses on Earth (and Beyond?)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It seems like every few days, we hear about the discovery of another planet around a distant star. I think it’s great that we’re finding so many planets “out there”. It means that our solar system isn’t the only one in the galaxy (or in the universe, for that matter).

Implicit in the search for other planets is the search for life in the universe. Life, in other words, besides ourselves and the species that populate our planet. Astrobiologists (the scientists who study life and its possibilities on other worlds) are looking for conditions for habitability elsewhere. Of course, habitability means different things to different life forms.

A place that supports human life, for example, might not be very hospitable to other life forms. We see that in our own oceans, by the way. Humans can’t live in them without special habitats or suits; and whales and other denizens of the sea can’t make it on the land. So, we have a fine example of habitability right here on Earth. The same will play out as we look at other planets in detail to figure out which life they can support, and which forms they can’t. And, that includes ...

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