could be habitable, and by searching for evidence for life through remote observation. It is difficult to predict the potential for advances at this new interface between the physical and life sciences—other than to note the extraordinary potential of bringing diverse scientific cultures together at the right moment in time.

Perhaps of equal importance is the extraordinary public interest generated by attempts to understand our origins and the ubiquity of life in the universe. Like astronomy, astrobiology has the potential to link the seemingly abstract world of research at the frontiers of knowledge to questions that have excited the human imagination since people first gazed at the heavens.



“Numerical Recipes” refers to copyrighted software published in the series Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing, available as books from Cambridge University Press and also in electronic form at <>.

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