Results tagged “Astrobiology”

Complex Chemistry at Titan

A laboratory experiment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., simulating the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan suggests complex organic chemistry that could eventually lead to the building blocks of life extends lower in the atmosphere than previously thought.

Bacteria in Earth's Deepest Trench

An international research team announces the first scientific results from one of the most inaccessible places on Earth: the bottom of the Mariana Trench located nearly 11 kilometers below sea level in the western Pacific, which makes it the deepest site on Earth.

The number of potentially habitable planets is greater than previously thought, according to a new analysis by a Penn State researcher, and some of those planets are likely lurking around nearby stars.

Even dying stars could host planets with life -- and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a white dwarf's planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star.

Antarctica's Don Juan Pond might be the unlikeliest body of water on Earth. Situated in the frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys, only the pond's high salt content -- by far the highest of any body of water on the planet -- keeps it from freezing into oblivion.

Researchers searching the galaxy for planets that could pass the litmus test of sustaining water-based life must find whether those planets fall in what's known as a habitable zone. New work, led by a team of Penn State researchers, will help scientists in that search.

A nearby short-duration gamma-ray burst may be the cause of an intense blast of high-energy radiation that hit the Earth in the 8th century, according to new research led by astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhauser.

Life is Possible on Extrasolar Moons

In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets.

NASA-funded researchers analyzing a small meteorite that may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or crust have found it contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins.

Binaries can be very close, sometimes so close that they actually touch each other. Other pairs are extremely wide, with separations up to a light-year or so. Astronomers have known about such wide pairs for a long time, but how they form has been a mystery. The problem is that the typical cloud cores out of which stars are born are not large enough to form the widest binaries.

Scattered around the Milky Way are stars that resemble our own sun--but a new study is finding that any planets orbiting those stars may very well be hotter and more dynamic than Earth.

Its about 120 km over the glacial ice fields between Novo Station and the lake. Its a rough ride with variations in the amount of snow or blue ice that one encounters along the way but the route is relatively safe, avoiding most major crevasse fields.

Melt Water on Mars Could Sustain Life

Near surface water has shaped the landscape of Mars. Areas of the planet's northern and southern hemispheres have alternately thawed and frozen in recent geologic history and comprise striking similarities to the landscape of Svalbard.

SETI Institute announces today it has received a donation of $3.5 million from Franklin Antonio, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Qualcomm.

A new super-Earth planet that may have an Earth-like climate and be just right to support life has been discovered around a nearby star by an international team of astronomers, led by Mikko Tuomi, University of Hertfordshire, and Guillem Anglada-Escude, University of Goettingen.

Asteroid Belts - Friendly to Life

Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.

NASA's car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere.

Most researchers imagine the initial oxygenation of the ocean and atmosphere to have been something like a staircase, but with steps only going up.

The Color of an Exoplanet

The search for extrasolar planets has already detected rocky planets and interesting planetary candidates in the Habitable Zone of their host stars. Astrobiologists are pioneering new ways of imaging and examining these worlds, including how to assess their habitability.

"Detections of massive extrasolar moons are shown feasible with the Kepler space telescope. Kepler's findings of about 50 exoplanets in the stellar habitable zone naturally make us wonder about the habitability of their hypothetical moons. Illumination from the planet, eclipses, tidal heating, and tidal locking distinguish remote characterization of exomoons from that of exoplanets. We show how evaluation of an exomoon's habitability is possible based on the parameters accessible by current and near-future technology." More

  1 2 3 4