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What conditions are necessary for life?

Knowing under what conditions life emerged on Earth will give us valuable insight into how and where it may have developed elsewhere in the universe.

Our Work

50+
Number of potentially habitable exoplanets

We are constantly learning how our young planet shaped early life, and how that life, in turn, shaped the Earth. This means drawing from expertise in the astrophysics of star and planet formation, and the geology, geophysics, and atmospheric physics of planets.

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian scientists and engineers are helping to answer one of the most profound questions facing humankind: What conditions are necessary for life?