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Bioastronomy is one of three terms used synonymously to refer to the study of life throughout the universe; the other two are astrobiology and exobiology. The word "bioastronomy" appears to have been coined by Michael D. Papagiannis of Boston University in 1982; in that year, Bioastronomy became the name of the International Astronomical Union's Commission 51, which Papagiannis was instrumental in setting up. An IAU international symposium on bioastronomy is held every three years.

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