Liftoff '98
A Texas Space Grant Consortium

Summer Institute

for Middle and Secondary School Teachers

July 13-17, 1998

Program Highlights

They say that life is strange. In recent years it appears that life may be even stranger than we thought!

The 1996 announcement by researcher that a martian meteorite collected in Antarctica may harbor fossil evidence of ancient life on the Red planet has stirred excitement and ongoing controversy in the scientific community. Images of Jupiter's moon Europa returned by the Galileo spacecraft this year showed a cracked and icy surface that suggests a watery ocean beneath- an ocean where life could exist. On our home planet, where living things abound, scientists are discovering strange and unexpected life forms. They thrive without sunlight at volcanic vents deep in the ocean or live deep within the crust where they apparently survive on a diet of rocks.

"Life on the Edge" examined some of these seemingly stranger-than-fiction discoveries and explored strategies for detecting life in bizarre environments elsewhere in our solar system and beyond.

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