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Important Deadlines and News

Upcoming deadlines / important events
Application deadline: 2018-11-26
ESF Junior Science Officer

Abstract Submission Deadline: 2018-12-31
Mars Extant Life: What's Next?

Registration Deadline: 2019-02-10
Kepler and K2 Science Conference V

NASA Astrobiology Program FAQs
The NASA Astrobiology Program has announced a new programmatic infrastructure. Known as Research Coordination Networks (RCNs), and first deployed as the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), RCNs bring together researchers who are funded from a variety of sources into interdisciplinary, topically-focused research groups. By early 2020, the NASA Astrobiology Program will have activated five RCNs -- four new ones plus NExSS -- each organized around a key research topic identified in the 2015 Astrobiology Strategy: prebiotic chemistry and the early Earth; early metabolism, evolution, and complexity; life detection on other worlds; habitable worlds (initially focused on ocean worlds); and exoplanet system science.

This document contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Astrobiology Program organized by topical areas.

Added 9 Nov 2018
European Astrobiology Institute
Dear Astrobiologists,

In addition to the long-standing “European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA)”, several new European networking initiatives have been launched over the last years, such as the COST Action “Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth in the Universe”, the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership “European Astrobiology Campus” and the FP7 project “AstRoMap”. The European astrobiology community has thus gained in maturity and coordination. To build on this momentum and take European Research in astrobiology to a higher level the launch of a European Astrobiology Institute was proposed. This entity will be a virtual institute consisting of research and higher education institutions and organisations as well as other stakeholders aiming to carry out research, training, outreach and dissemination activities in astrobiology in a comprehensive and coordinated manner and thereby securing a leading role of the European Research Area in the field.

An Interim Board was formed consisting of members and employees of the main stakeholders in this field in the European Research Area (ESA, ESF, ISSI, German Aerospace Centre, CNRS, CNES, INAF, Europlanet, EANA, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Centro de Astrobiologia, etc.) to prepare the creation of the EAI. It has elaborated a draft Action Plan mapping out the tasks, structure, governing bodies, activities, funding and administration of the EAI. This Action Plan has been finalised and is now open for discussion with the whole European astrobiology community in summer 2018. Recruitment of institutions is planned to place in autumn and winter 2018/19 and the first General Assembly of the EAI is planned for late spring 2019.

A preliminary website of the European Astrobiology has been set up at:
http://www.europeanastrobiology.eu/

The Interim Board invites all members to discuss the plans for establishment of the European Astrobiology Institute. To facilitate the discussion, we have created a Google Group on the EAI. To join please do the following:
  1. Access the Google Group "European Astrobiology"
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/europeanastrobiology
  2. Ask to join
or alternatively write a message to wgeppert (at) hotmail.com and you will be sent an invitation. To join you should be affiliated to a Research and/or Higher Education Institution or research organisation in Europe. The Interim Board, however, reserves the right to refuse participants to the forum if their connection to astrobiology or research in general is unclear. In accordance with general regulations of Google any kind of insult and slander against individual persons or Institutions and groups will result in the sender being removed from the Google Group.

Relevant documents (Action Plan, Executive summary, Communiques of the meetings of the Interim Board, a promotional folder for the EAI and a proposed time plan for the implementation of the institute) can be downloaded at the webpage:
http://europeanastrobiology.eu/documents.html

We are looking forward to reading your viewpoints and discussing the future EAI with you.

Best regards,
Wolf Geppert
in the name of the Interim Board

Added 26 Jul 2018
MASE - Mars Analogues for Space Exploration
Newsletter March 2018
After 48 months of intense activity, the MASE project ends. Over the past four years, MASE successfully achieved its objectives to advance our understanding of the past habitability of Mars and the signatures of life.

Added 29 Mar 2018
Online Courses in Astrobiology
We are pleased to announce the launch of the first platform of online courses in astrobiology.
Astrobiology is a field in full expansion and in constant renewal. It stimulates great public and media interest, and generates many vocations among students. It is therefore essential that everyone has access to the latest advances in the field and it is in this spirit that we launch today this free online platform.
“Online courses in astrobiology” presents quality courses in astrobiology, given by international specialists, for students working in this field but also for any interested and curious public. Classes are available in French, English and Spanish (additional languages may be added later). They are mainly for students in master`s or PhD programs, but most of them are accessible to a wider audience.

This platform was created in the context of the IAU (International Astronomical Union) working group: "Education and Training in Astrobiology"

Contact:
Muriel Gargaud and Hervé Cottin

Added 22 Nov 2017

Monthly research highlight (-> More highlights)

Berdyugina et al. (2018): Exo-Life Finder (ELF) Telescope: New Strategies for Direct Detection of Exoplanet Biosignatures and Technosignatures

SPIE Proceedings 2018, 10700, 14 p., DOI:10.1117/12.2313781

Link to paper
The Exo-Life Finder (ELF) will be an optical system with the resolving power of a >=20m telescope optimized for characterizing exoplanets and detecting exolife. It will allow for direct detection of Earth-size planets in commonlyconsidered water-based habitable zones (WHZ) of nearby stars and for generic exolife studies. Here we discuss capabilities of the ELF to detect biosignatures and technosignatures in exoplanetary atmospheres and on their surfaces in the visual and near infrared. We evaluate sensitivity limits for mid- and low-resolution spectral, photometric and polarimetric measurements, analyzed using atmosphere models and light-curve inversions. [...]
Conferences (-> Detailed Information)
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