Thursday, 31 July 2014, 2:26 pm

New astrobiology group formed

A new group of the Royal Astronomical Society (RASNZ) has been established to foster the local astrobiology community.

The Astrobiology Group aims to inspire interest in the field through newsletters, educational programmes and outreach events. Its formation was approved by RASNZ at their 91st annual conference, held in June, 2014.

Astrobiology is the study of the origin and future of life in the universe. It also examines whether life exists beyond Earth, and if so, how humans might detect it.

The field is especially interesting because it combines many scientific disciplines, such as physics, chemistry and geology, in order to study life on Earth and potential life in space.

Coordinator Haritina Mogosanu says the Astrobiology Group is looking for expressions of interest to help stimulate the group. “You don’t have to be a RASNZ member to join the Astrobiology Group but we would encourage you to do so and support the great work of the Society,” she says.

New Zealand is considered to be an excellent field site for astrobiology research, due to its unique geological features and scientific community, says Haritina. “There is a network of scientists through New Zealand with excellent credentials in fields relating to astrobiology,” she says.

Those interested in joining the group can visit its website or email Haritina Mogosanu.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1407/S00064/new-astrobiology-group-formed.htm

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