Impact events

Did Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Trigger Largest Lava Flows on Earth?

Did Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Trigger Largest Lava Flows on Earth?

The asteroid that slammed into the ocean off Mexico 66 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs probably rang the Earth like a bell, triggering volcanic eruptions around the globe that may have contributed to the devastation, according to a team of University of California, Berkeley, geophysicists.

Extrasolar Planets

Transient Sulfate Aerosols as a Signature of Exoplanet Volcanism

Transient Sulfate Aerosols as a Signature of Exoplanet Volcanism

Geological activity is thought to be important for the origin of life and for maintaining planetary habitability. We show that transient sulfate aerosols could be a signature of exoplanet volcanism, and therefore a geologically active world.

Astronomy

Using Near IR Spectroscopy For Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets

Using Near IR Spectroscopy For Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets

We propose a method for observing transiting exoplanets with near-infrared high-resolution spectrometers. We aim to create a robust data analysis method for recovering atmospheric transmission spectra from transiting exoplanets over a wide wavelength range in the near infrared.

Astrochemistry

Complex Organic and Inorganic Compounds in Shells of Lithium-rich K Giant Stars

Complex Organic and Inorganic Compounds in Shells of Lithium-rich K Giant Stars

Hydrocarbon organic material, as found in the interstellar medium, exists in complex mixtures of aromatic and aliphatic forms.

Climate

Modeling The Surface Temperature of Earth-like Planets

Modeling The Surface Temperature of Earth-like Planets

We introduce a novel Earth-like planet surface temperature model (ESTM) for habitability studies based on the spatial-temporal distribution of planetary surface temperatures.

Cryobiology

Lakes and Signs of Life Found under Antarctica's Dry Valleys

Lakes and Signs of Life Found under Antarctica's Dry Valleys

Many view Antarctica as a frozen wasteland. Turns out there are hidden interconnected lakes underneath its dry valleys that could sustain life and shed light on ancient climate change.

Extrasolar Planets

Robotically Discovering Earth's Nearest Neighbors

Robotically Discovering Earth's Nearest Neighbors

A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaii, California, and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets orbit their star at a distance closer than Mercury orbits the sun, completing their orbits in just 5, 15, and 24 days.

Astrochemistry

Water Could Have Been Abundant in the First Billion Years

Water Could Have Been Abundant in the First Billion Years

How soon after the Big Bang could water have existed? Not right away, because water molecules contain oxygen and oxygen had to be formed in the first stars.

Astrochemistry

Methyl Acetate and its Singly Deuterated Isotopomers in the Interstellar Medium

Methyl Acetate and its Singly Deuterated Isotopomers in the Interstellar Medium

Methyl acetate (CH_3COOCH_3) has been recently observed by IRAM 30 m radio telescope in Orion though the presence of its deuterated isotopomers is yet to be confirmed.

Astrochemistry

Searching for Interstellar Adenine

Searching for Interstellar Adenine

It is long debated if pre-biotic molecules are indeed present in the interstellar medium. Despite substantial works pointing to their existence, pre-biotic molecules are yet to be discovered with a complete confidence.

Extrasolar Planets

Tau Ceti: The Next Earth? Probably Not

Tau Ceti: The Next Earth? Probably Not

As the search continues for Earth-size planets orbiting at just the right distance from their star, a region termed the habitable zone, the number of potentially life-supporting planets grows.

More top stories from May.