Results tagged “Astrobiology”

Betcha didn't know that the unofficial motto of NASA's Astrobiology Program was "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of Congressional paralysis stays these scientists from the swift completion of their appointed webinars" ;-)

Any textbook will tell you that oxygen is essential for advanced life to evolve. But why did life not explode when oxygen levels rose dramatically 2.1 billion years ago? This is the big question after a Danish/Swedish/French research team, led by University of Southern Denmark, has shown that the oxygen content 2.1 billion years ago was probably the same as when life exploded 500 million years ago.

We explore how questions related to developing a sustainable human civilization can be cast in terms of astrobiology. In particular we show how ongoing astrobiological studies of the coupled relationship between life, planets and their co-evolution can inform new perspectives and direct new studies in sustainability science.

Finding life on exoplanets may be more difficult than people thought, said Feng Tian, a professor at the Center for Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The report is being presented today to the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Denver, CO. The result is of special interest because it may shed light on how and where life could be identified on exoplanets.

The mystery of why life on Earth evolved when it did has deepened with the publication of a new study in the latest edition of the journal Science. Scientists at the CRPG-CNRS University of Lorraine, The University of Manchester and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have ruled out a theory as to why the planet was warm enough to sustain the planet's earliest life forms when the Sun's energy was roughly three-quarters the strength it is today.

The quest for evidence of life on Mars could be more difficult than scientists previously thought. A scientific paper published today details the investigation of a chemical in the Martian soil that interferes with the techniques used by the Curiosity rover to test for traces of life. The chemical causes the evidence to burn away during the tests.

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is now accepting applications for the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. The deadline is December 1.

Astrobiology: An Astronomer's Perspective

In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth.

Glimpses of the events that nurtured life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago are coming from an unlikely venue almost 1 billion miles away, according to the leader of an effort to understand Titan, one of the most unusual moons in the solar system.

Scientists have discovered a 'cosmic factory' for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, according to research.

Astrobiology Strategic Plan Milestone

The NASA Astrobiology Strategy process has reached an important milestone. The concept documents, which were created at the Wallops Island workshop, are now ready for public comment.

A novel, hybrid part-human, part-machine visual system that uses a simple mobile phone camera has been developed to search for evidence of past or present life in planetary analogue sites on Earth. Patrick McGuire from the Freie Universitaet, Berlin, will present results from this Cyborg Astrobiologist at the European Planetary Science Congress in London on Monday 9th September.

An instrument similar to those used on Earth by art detectives and to sense explosives at airports will be taken into space for the first time by ExoMars, the European Space Agency's mission to Mars in 2018. This Raman spectrometer will help space scientists to hunt for traces of Martian life.

Habitable Worlds With No Signs of Life

'Most habitable worlds in the cosmos will have no remotely detectable signs of life' is proposed as a biological hypothesis to be tested in studies of exoplanets. Habitable planets could be discovered elsewhere in the Universe, yet there are many hypothetical scenarios whereby the search for life on them could yield negative results.

Ceres, which orbits the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is a unique body in the Solar System, bearing many similarities to Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, both considered to be potential sources for harboring life.

For an astrobiologist, going into the field doesn't have to mean going to another planet. There's plenty to learn about life in the cosmos by studying what our planet has to offer. To help in this exploration, the Lewis and Clark Fund supports the field work of early career scientists.

The NAI team, Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL), is interested in how to determine if planets orbiting others stars exhibit signs of life, "biosignatures."

The Astrophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate is pleased to issue this open call for nominations to serve on the Executive Committee of NASA's Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group, or COPAG.

NASA Astrobiology Strategic Plan Update

The 2014 Astrobiology Strategic Plan is now under construction. It has involved the community in online and face-to-face discussions.

The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways, according to new research led by University of Washington scientists.

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