Sponsored by




Approved by the State Elections Commision of Puerto Rico
CEE-C-08-10,129




MAIN OBJECTIVES

To define and Describe the concepts of Astrobiology, Comets and Asteroids, and the celestial bodies being studied to determine the presence of life.

To Relate Microbial Mats as modes to study life signatures in early earth.

To link the involvement and participation of different disciplines such as Geology, Microbiology, Physics and Astrobiology (among others) to understand and study the origin of life.

To serve as a platform for multidisciplinary discussion and networking among the university community from different educational and research institutions, as well as teachers and students from local schools and special programs.

To reflex about local and scientific opportunities to do search in Astrobiology and related fields, and how to turn them into investigations of impact and educational innovations.

To describe educational initiatives which apply the concepts of Astrobiology in order to inform K-12 teachers and students as well as college students about emerging disciplines that could become future areas to study and perform research.

What is Life?

    1. The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.
    2. The characteristic state or condition of a living organism.
    3. Living organisms considered as a group: plant life; marine life
    4. The interval of time between birth and death: She led a good, long life.
    5. The interval of time between one's birth and the present: has had hay fever all his life.
    6. A particular segment of one's life: my adolescent life.
    7. The period from an occurrence until death: elected for life; paralyzed for life.
    8. Slang A sentence of imprisonment lasting till death.
    9. The time for which something exists or functions: the useful life of a car.
    10. A spiritual state regarded as a transcending of corporeal death.
    11. An account of a person's life; a biography.
    12. Human existence, relationships, or activity in general: real life; everyday life.
    13. A manner of living: led a hard life.
    14. A specific, characteristic manner of existence. Used of inanimate objects: "Great institutions seem to have a life of their own, independent of those who run them" (New Republic).
    15. The activities and interests of a particular area or realm: musical life in New York.
    16. A source of vitality; an animating force: She's the life of the show.
    17. Liveliness or vitality; animation: a face that is full of life.
    18. Something that actually exists regarded as a subject for an artist: painted from life.
    19. Actual environment or reality; nature.

What is Astrobiology, Exobiology?

Is the study of the living universe, providing a scientific foundation for the multidisciplinary investigation of the origin and distribution of life, including the role of physical forces, planetary atmospheres, and ecosystem interactions in the evolution of living systems.

What is a Planetary System?

Consist of the various non-stellar objects orbiting a star such as planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and cosmic dust. The Sun together with its planetary system, which includes Earth, is known as the Solar System.

What is a Planet?

As defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals.

What is a Moon?

A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called the primary. Technically, the term natural satellite could refer to a planet orbiting a star, or a dwarf galaxy orbiting a major galaxy, but it is normally synonymous with moon and used to identify non-artificial satellites of planets, dwarf planets, and minor planets.

What is Microbial Mats?

Laminar organosedimentary ecosystems that contains several microbial communities as layered groups including cyanobacteria (top layer), anoxigenic purple bacteria (middle or pink layer), and anoxic sulfur oxidizers (black and bottom layer). They formed due to the interaction among the specialized communities and also by performing trapping and binding, and/or precipitation of minerals by exo-polymeric substances (EPS) produced by the microorganisms on the top layer. There are Tropical Hypersaline Microbial Mats at the Cabo Rojo Salterns in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

What is a Comet?

Is a small Solar System body that orbits the Sun and, when close enough to the Sun, exhibits a visible coma (atmosphere) or a tail — both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus. Comet nuclei are themselves loose collections of ice, dust and small rocky particles, measuring a few kilometers or tens of kilometers across.

What is a Meteor?

A bright trail or streak that appears in the sky when a meteoroid is heated to incandescence by friction with the earth's atmosphere. Also called falling star , meteor burst , shooting star.

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