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You are here: Home Research Activities Sun and Solar System The Planets and minor bodies in the Solar System and other stellar systems Recent projects and on-going activity in the study of planets and minor bodies Extrasolar planets. Bioastronomy: research into primordial life and intelligence in extrasolar planets.

Extrasolar planets. Bioastronomy: research into primordial life and intelligence in extrasolar planets.

Bioastronomy is a new milt-disciplinary science that studies the origin, evolution and spread of life in the Universe. It is differentiated from astrobiology in that the research is carried out principally by means of astronomical observations from the Earth and space, and also includes the SETI project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). To determine with certainty that we are not alone in this Universe there are two possibilities within ourtechnological grasp: spectroscopically search with telescopes for planets beyond the solar system having habitable atmospheres, and listen with the largest radio telescopes for signals from space that can be classified as intelligent (SETI project). Following the Italian discovery of water maser emission during the impact of comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 with Jupiter, the ITASEL project was born (Italian Search for Extraterrestrial Life), with the mainaim of searching for pre-biotic molecules in extrasolar planets and comets. The results obtained so far show weak signals from 5 stellar systems, but need to be confirmed as they are not constant in time.