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Astrobiology by letterse7en Astrobiology by letterse7en
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A flash piece that was built for Adler Planetarium in Chicago. back in 2001-2002. An educational piece about Astrobiology.

This was a team project. I designed the interface and helped program the interactive features.
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sara-bella-snowwhite Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2010
Very interesting work! It allows a bit of simple insight into Astrobiology, which I'm hoping to study someday. Great job!
letterse7en Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010
Thanks for taking a look! It was a fun and interesting project!
Xenobiology-Club Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
The subject matter and amount of effort put into this makes it a good addition to the favorites section of the Xenobiology-Club (This, is Kryptid, by the way).
letterse7en Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Hey Kryptid! Thanks for the add! It is nice to know that someone appreciates the amount of work involved in putting a project like this together. :) Hopefully more people will look at it and hopefully learn something from the content (even if it isn't technically perfect, lol).
Xenobiology-Club Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
You're welcome. Yeah, I hope so too.
Kryptid Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2008
This is very well put together and is rather interesting. However, I believe there are some flaws with it. For example, the quiz section claims that Jupiter is thought to be made entirely of gas. This isn't true. Liquid hydrogen and liquid metallic hydrogen are thought to make up a good portion of Jupiter's content (although the gradient between gas and liquid on Jupiter is smooth). Plus, its core is thought to either be molten rock or solid rock, not gas.

Also, I don't think high pressure in a planet's atmosphere is as much of an obstacle as this project claims. True, if you take a human or "Bob the Alien" into an area of sufficiently high pressure they can be crushed, but that's because they aren't adapted to the pressure. For example, the pressure at the bottom of the ocean exceeds the pressure in Venus' atmosphere. Yet complex life can be found there because the pressure inside of their bodies roughly equals that of their environment. Hence, they aren't crushed.

As for nutrients, I really don't think an overabundance of nutrients in the environment will cause an organism to grow "too big". An organism would likely be adapted to its native environment in such a way as to extract the amount of nutrients it needs, even if there is a great surplus. Otherwise, an overabundance of nutrients would likely harm an organism more than it would help it to grow.

The diagram says that Neptune has nutrients and water, but that Uranus only has nutrients. Actually, Uranus has a water-ammonia "ocean" similar to that of Neptune.
letterse7en Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2008
Good commentary. I think what you need to know about the project is that this was intended as an educational tool for children to be viewed in a very short period of time at the Adler Planetarium. It was never intended to be used as a means of deep technical information but as a basic summary of astrobiology.

The idea was to teach children and a very simple level, which components are necessary for life to exist. Keep in mind, the content included was provided to us by the Adler Planetarium Astronomers, so I'm not entirely responsible for the information handed to us :)

Although you bring up some interesting points regarding bob the alien, again, keep in mind the target audience was intended to be mostly school children who might spend 10-15 minutes looking at this piece on a field trip. What is the best way to describe to them, "what would happen to them if suddenly their nutrients were taken away, or they had too much energy or were too close to the sun?" without being too graphic, we used bob the alien as a tool to explain these things on the most basic level, and is intended to be light hearted, provide some interesting info in a way that is fun for the kids.

The challenge of the project was to take all of this robust information regarding astrobiology (and there's an eternal amount of information out there) and condense it all into one piece that can make kids or casual visitors of the planetarium understand these concepts at the most basic level.

However, I think you have good info and I think had this been intended to be a more in depth explanation of everything and technically accurate, then I would say that you're right in your points about bob and the effects of adaptation to an environment, etc, and that info should be updated.

Good feedback by the way and thanks for taking time to look at this in detail. Much appreciated and thanks for the compliment. It was a big challenge, putting all of this info and making it effective from a navigational standpoint.

I put this together about 6 years ago during my senior year in college and thought it was the coolest thing I've ever been a part of. Looking at it now, there are so many things I would have done differently from a design standpoint, lol! Thanks again for looking!
Kryptid Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2008
You're welcome. I now understand. As you said, children can't absorb too many details at once.
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Submitted on
June 9, 2007
File Size
6.7 MB


6 (who?)


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