L'astrobiologie: de l'origine de la vie sur Terre à la recherche de vie extraterrestre.
Astrobiology: from the origin of life on Earth to the search of extraterrestrial life.
On Earth, life appeared in water about 4 billion years ago, with simple organic molecules originating from the atmosphere, hydrothermal sources in oceans and space, including comets. Hence the enormous interest for the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet visited by the probes Philae and Rosetta. From this inventory, chemists try to recreate life in test tubes. Exobiologists are looking for extraterrestrial sites rich in both water and carbon chemistry. The targeted sites, and visited for some, are Mars, Europe, Titan, Enceladus and extrasolar planets.
André Brack is honorary research director at the CNRS in Orléans, where he started the astrobiology research group that studies the origin of life, its early evolution and distribution in the universe. He is recognized as the founder of this discipline in France. He is Fellow and former President of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. He chaired the European Astrobiology Network, which he founded in 2001. He is an honorary member of NASA Institute of Astrobiology and Honorary President of Center-Sciences, the center for the science popularization in the Centre-Val de Loire region, center which he founded in 1990