India’s first astrobiology conference held in Mumbai

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. Life in space, India’s 1st astrobiology Conference, was organized in the city by Mumbai-based IARC Indian astrobiology analysis Centre for United Nations together with Jawaharlal Nehru Science Centre. As well as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, It also refers to the search for any kind of life elsewhere.

The maiden astrobiology conference received an awesome response, Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya, Scientist, IARC, Head, said.

He said, “The auditorium was teeming with students from across Bharat.”

Cosmologist professor Jayant Narlikar, the future tests planned to conduct the isotopic analysis of the organic material retrieved from over forty kilometer above the earth’s surface and the ongoing look for micro-life in the universe.

Vaidya told PTI, “This analysis will show if life is indeed to come from space.”

UK delivered the first Arthur C Clarke memorial lecture, Prof. Chandra Wickrmasinghe from Cambridge, based on his four decade long quest for extraterrestrial life, in particular his lifelong effort to test panspermia.

The theory of panspermia suggests that life didn’t originate on Earth however was delivered to Earth from another part of the universe.

On this occasion, “Chandra Wickramasinghe Fund for Panspermia Research” a fund was announced. This fund can encourage astrobiology research amongst students in India.

Dr Henery Throop advised that instead of Mars, the future missions should target Jupiter’s moon Europa as the moon is likely to possess a sub-surface ocean. Dr Henery Throop, delivered an engaging talk about NASA’s contribution to search for life in space over the past fifty years.

A panel discussion led by leading astrobiologist, Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya, and astrophysicist professor. Shashikumar Chitre was held.

Vaidya said, to understand life in the cosmic context is critical to our understanding of life on Earth.

More importantly, he added, “it’s critical to ensure the survival of our species on Earth.”