Scientists will meet in Puerto Vallarta to discuss extraterrestrial life

Scientists from around the world will meet in Puerto Vallarta to present the most recent results about the search for life, or its precursors, outside of Earth.

The congress is part of the series “New Quests in Stellar Astrophysics”, which this year will be held from March 31 to April 5 in Puerto Vallarta with the title “Astrochemistry, Astrobiology and the Origin of Life ”

The topics that will be addressed in the congress are varied and interdisciplinary, among others: the formation of complex molecules in regions where new generations of stars are being formed, disc astrochemistry of circumstellar material around young and mature stars; characterization of exoplanets; habitability of exoplanets; scenarios of the emergence of life on Earth and other celestial objects; space exploration and observation from the Earth of objects of astrobiological interest in the Solar System, and historical, social and educational aspects of astrobiology.

Miguel Chavez Dagostino, researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) and organizer of the congress, commented that “given the capabilities of astronomical instruments, it is currently possible to try to distinguish if there are biomarkers, that is, properties that could be associated with the possible presence of life, in the atmospheres of some of the almost four thousand exoplanets that are known.”

Scientific Director of the Large Millimeter Telescope (GTM) points out that there are several motivations behind this year’s congress. One of them, which has to do with Mexico, is that with the GTM and its new instrumentation, avant-garde contributions can certainly be made in these fields of research.

“We have already arrived at the fourth event of the series” New Quests in Stellar Astrophysics “and we do it with a very interesting subject: to distinguish, within the investigations that are carried out at present, in which objects of our solar system, and in which of the exoplanets that are being discovered, could have evolved life as we know it,” said Chávez Dagostino. This year’s international conference, he adds, is multidisciplinary and will bring together biologists, astrophysicists, chemists and sociologists from almost 20 countries.

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