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panspermia astrobiologists extremophiles origin of life planetsSome astrobiologists are concerned with forming theories, such as panspermia, about the distribution, nature, and origin of life in the Universe. Microbial ecologists, astronomers, planetary scientists, geochemists, philosophers, and explorers cooperate constructively to guide the search for life on other planets. Astrobiologists are particularly interested in studying extremophiles, as many organisms of this type are capable of surviving in environments similar to those known to exist on other planets. For example, Mars may have regions in its deep subsurface permafrost that could harbor endolith communities. The subsurface water ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa may harbor life, especially at hypothesized hydrothermal vents at the ocean floor.

Stephen Hawking - How Did Life Begin?

Stephen Hawking explains how life may have began on Earth, and turns to evolution to determine what extraterrestrial life may look like.

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