Our planet, Earth, is the only place currently known to harbour life. Whether life as we know it exists or not elsewhere is a subject that has fascinated humankind for centuries. On the scientific side, providing an answer to this question requires a huge collaborative effort from many different fields of research that include astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and even philosophy of science. While far from being exhaustive, this dossier presents different pieces of the huge puzzle known as astrobiology, from the exploration of our Solar System to that of the so-called exoplanets (planets orbiting around other stars). Special attention is given to highlight the crucial role of European research to achieve the level of understanding we now have on the matter, including a whole article devoted to the promising European Space Agency (ESA) space mission JUICE as an illustrative example. Finally, the last article dives into more imaginative areas by describing the connection between music and the exploration of the cosmos, showing how astronomy and arts very frequently go hand in hand.
Astronomy, biology, music, science, art