Encyclopedia of Astrobiology
Henderson James Cleaves
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The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines.
The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work and the expert field editors intend for their contributions, from an internationally comprehensive perspective, to accelerate the interdisciplinary advance of astrobiology.
transverse component of the star’s space velocity relative to our Sun. This proper motion often exceeds 50 mas yearÀ1. We use the recent determination of the mass of the planetary companion HD 38529 c (Benedict et al. 2010) as an example of the methodology. The star HD 38529 (= HIP 27253 = HR 1988 = PLX 1320) hosts two known companions (b and c) discovered by high-precision ▶ radial velocity (RV) monitoring (summarized in Wright et al. 2009). Previously published minimum masses were Mb sin i =
explored theoretically in the past. History The term was originally proposed by H. Maturana and F. Varela in the early seventies (from Greek: auto, “self”; and poiesis, production) and proposed as an abstract definition of ▶ life. According to these authors, an autopietic system is “organized as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (1) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes
(1998) Prokaryotes: the unseen majority. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95:6578–6583. doi:10.1073/ pnas.95.12.6578 Woese CR, Kandler O, Wheelis ML (1990) Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains archaea, bacteria, and eucarya. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87:4576–4579. doi:10.1073/ pnas.87.12.4576 Woese C, Fox G (1977) Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 74(11):5088–5090. doi:10.1073/pnas.74.11.5088 Xu J (2006) Microbial ecology
we express our sincere appreciation to the editorial staff of Springer, in particular Saskia Ellis, Marion Kraemer and Jana Simniok, who lent technical and administrative support throughout the entire process. The Editors Editor-in-Chief Muriel Gargaud Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux CNRS and Universite´ Bordeaux 1 2 Rue de l’Observatoire 33270 Floirac France Muriel.Gargaud@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr Field: Astrophysics Book Editors Ricardo Amils Laboratory of Extremophiles Departament of
(1952) The chemical basis of morphogenesis. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 237:37–72, Also in Saunders PT (ed) (1992) The collected works of A. M. Turing: morphogenesis. North-Holland, Amsterdam Varela FR, Maturana HR, Uribe R (1974) Autopoiesis: the organisation of living systems, its characterization and a model. BioSystems 5:187–196 Artificial Meteorite ▶ STONE 99 A 100 A ASA ASA Synonyms Aeronautics and Space Agency of FFG; Agentur fu¨r Luft- und Raumfahrt der FFG; Austrian Space Agency,