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Spring 2007

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Editorial
Astrobiology in France
By Frances Westall


In The News
COROT Sets Its Sights on the Stars


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Features

Spotlight on France:
STONEs in Space
Can life travel from planet to planet? In a new study, France's Andre Brack and UK-based Charles Cockell have found that photosynthetic life probably wouldn’t survive the journey.
By Leslie Mullen
Building a Habitable Planet
Can we recover the record of the early Earth? Hervé Martin of the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, Clermont-Ferrand and his colleagues uncover clues that exist on the surface of our planet today.
By Simon Mitton
Origin of Life: First Steps
How did life emerge on Earth and under what conditions might it arise on other planetary bodies? “From Suns to Life” brings together the current thinking of this challenging subject.
By Toby Murcott
The Violent Origin of the Solar System
How normal was the violent formation of our solar system? That’s a conundrum Thierry Montmerle, at the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, explores in his research.
By Simon Mitton

More European Related Features:
Looking for Microbial Martians
A miniature detector aboard ExoMars -- 1 million times more sensitive than the ones carried by Viking -- will search for amino acids on Mars.
By David Tenebaum
Hitchhikers Guide to Astrobiology
If you were stranded on a desert moon, what laboratory equipment would you want to have with you in your suitcase?
By Aaron Gronstal

Space on Earth
In his book, “Space on Earth,” microbiologist Charles Cockell urges space scientists and environmentalists to work together for the future for humanity.
By Charles Cockell

Interviews

Spotlight on France:
Forecasting Earth-like Worlds — Interview with Frank Selsis
Frank Selsis, an astrophysicist at The École Normale Supérieure specializing in planetary atmospheres, discusses how atmospheric characteristics can reveal the presence of life.
The Scientific UN — Interview with Roger Bonnet
COSPAR's president speaks about its mission to expand the knowledge frontier of space for the benefit of humankind.

More European Related Interviews:
What Lies Beneath: MARSIS Radar Findings — Interview with Jeffrey Plaut
Jeffrey Plaut describes how ESA's Mars Express MARSIS radar instrument could uncover how much liquid water lies hidden below the surface of Mars.
Modeling Other Earths — Interview with Barrie Jones
In this interview, Barrie Jones discusses why astrobiologists can expect to find many Earth-like planets someday.

Retrospections

Spotlight on France:
French Tales of Infinity
In both science and fiction, the alien infused the work of the prolific French astronomer Camille Flammarion, infecting the intellectual life and popular culture of France.
By Mark Brake and Neil Hook
The Dreadful Hammers of Jules Verne
Jules Verne was one of geology's first grand champions. His love of the technical established the marvellous machine as one of science fiction's most enduring motifs.
By Mark Brake and Neil Hook
Life of a Comet Hunter: Messier and Astrobiology
Messier's observation of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters is significant enough in the history of astrobiology. But what did Charles Messier make of the alien life debate?
By Mark Brake and Martin Griffiths

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