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An Astronomical Search for the Essential Ingredients of Life: The New UofA/NOAO LAPLACE Node of NASA's Astrobiology Institute

Wednesday, February 4, 2004
Meyer (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona)

Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life and its prevalence in the universe. In 1997, NASA founded the Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in order to further research, education, and public outreach in this wide-ranging interdisciplinary endeavor. In 2003, the University of Arizona and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories submitted a successful proposal to join the NAI which recently lead to the creation of the Life And PLanets Astrobiology CEnter (LAPLACE). Our research program is focused on astrochemistry which leads to the building blocks of life, the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and the search for and characterization of extra-solar planetary systems. I will provide an overview of our research program, LAPLACE, and future plans to extend our efforts including closer ties to interested researchers in southern Arizona.


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