Submit an abstract to the "Lessons from Earth Analogs to Inform the Search for Life in the Universe" session of the Astrobiology Science Conference, taking place from June 24-28, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. See the session description below, and hope to see you there!
Recent discoveries on ocean worlds as well as remnants of ancient aqueous environments on Mars set important foundations in the search for extraterrestrial life. To better prioritize targets for investigation, select high-value analysis sites, and develop exploration strategies for potential ancient or extant biosignatures, a diverse set of analog environments on Earth are extremely valuable. Given the rapidly emerging nature of the field, as well as the ocean world missions under development, key details of how such findings translate into habitability are timely. We welcome in particular abstracts addressing geological contexts or spatial scales that could inform the search for habitable environments or biosignatures on our solar system’s Ocean Worlds. Relevant work will contextualize terrestrial studies – including those pertaining to Pre-Cambrian glacial “Snowball” conditions – within the framework of aqueous paleoenvironments on Mars and our expanding knowledge of celestial bodies like Europa, Enceladus, Titan, Ceres, and Triton. Subjects could include (but are not limited to) geophysical analyses that constrain habitable environments or geochemical gradients, assessments of energetics for past or extant life, the effect of ice cover on physical and chemical processes, or biological activity that could generate diagnostic biomarkers. We also encourage “process-based” abstracts that detail how the exploratory approaches used in terrestrial contexts – such as mission operations, instrument testing, and field site selection – may be mobilized in support of the future astrobiology missions.
Abstract Submission Deadline: 23 January 2019, 11:59 P.M. ET