The Astrophysical Context of Life
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Chemical reaction environment determined by the balance of negatively and positively charged atoms
Reproduction from a template
Ribonucleic acid, a molecule involved in transcription of the instructions in DNA. Some theorize that RNA was the precursor to DNA.
When one strand of the DNA molecule is broken, usually by oxidative stress or certain forms of radiation
Eruption of hot gas and radiation from the Sun’s photosphere
Sun and nearby stars
NASA mission to return dust from Comet Wild 2
Geologic process by which one tectonic plate is forced under another
Ancient impact basin in northern Canada
Complex hydrocarbons with high viscosity and melting point
Theory that Earth’s lithosphere exists as separate and distinct plates that float on a fluid-like asthenosphere
Largest moon of Saturn
NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder
Elements located in groups IB to VIIIB of the Periodic Table. They have many of the characteristics of metals.
Electromagnetic radiation more energetic than visible light
Ultraviolet sunlight that penetrates the ozone layer and reaches Earth’s surface
Ultraviolet sunlight with shorter wavelength than UVB that is filtered out by Earth’s ozone layer
Virtual Planetary Laboratory, hosted by Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Substance with a low evaporation temperature
300-km impact crater in South Africa, formed about 2 billion years ago
Electromagnetic radiation more energetic than ultraviolet light