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Vacant habitats in the Universe

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011

Abstract

The search for life on other planets usually makes the assumption that where there is a habitat, it will contain life. On the present-day Earth, uninhabited habitats (or vacant habitats) are rare, but might occur, for example, in subsurface oils or impact craters that have been thermally sterilized in the past. Beyond Earth, vacant habitats might similarly exist on inhabited planets or on uninhabited planets, for example on a habitable planet where life never originated. The hypothesis that vacant habitats are abundant in the Universe is testable by studying other planets. In this review, I discuss how the study of vacant habitats might ultimately inform an understanding of how life has influenced geochemical conditions on Earth.

    Research areas

  • INDUCED HYDROTHERMAL ACTIVITY, BANDED IRON FORMATIONS, LATE HEAVY BOMBARDMENT, EARTH-LIKE PLANETS, SPECTRAL SIGNATURES, IMPACT STRUCTURE, LIFE, ORIGIN, WATER, MARS

ID: 1495442