Astrobiology (general)

The Habitability of The Universe Through 13 Billion Years of Cosmic Time

The Habitability of The Universe Through 13 Billion Years of Cosmic Time

The field of astrobiology has made tremendous progress in modelling galactic-scale habitable zones which offer a stable environment for life to form and evolve in complexity.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

How Planetary Age Reveals Water Content

How Planetary Age Reveals Water Content

Water is necessary for life as we know it, but too much water is bad for habitability.

Europa

Europa's Ocean May Have an Earthlike Chemical Balance

Europa's Ocean May Have an Earthlike Chemical Balance

The ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa could have the necessary balance of chemical energy for life, even if the moon lacks volcanic hydrothermal activity, finds a new study.

Astrochemistry

Rotating Ring of Complex Organic Molecules Discovered Around Newborn Star

Rotating Ring of Complex Organic Molecules Discovered Around Newborn Star

Astronomers have long known that organic molecules form in diffuse gas clouds floating between stars.

Mars

Findings Point to a More Earth-like Martian Past

Findings Point to a More Earth-like Martian Past

Chemicals found in Martian rocks by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover suggest the Red Planet once had more oxygen in its atmosphere than it does now.

Astrochemistry

Discovery of the Interstellar Chiral Molecule Propylene Oxide (CH3CHCH2O)

Discovery of the Interstellar Chiral Molecule Propylene Oxide (CH3CHCH2O)

Life on Earth relies on chiral molecules, that is, species not superimposable on their mirror images. This manifests itself in the selection of a single molecular handedness, or homochirality, across the biosphere.

Astrochemistry

First Detection of Methyl Alcohol in a Planet-forming Disc

First Detection of Methyl Alcohol in a Planet-forming Disc

The organic molecule methyl alcohol (methanol) has been found by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the TW Hydrae protoplanetary disc.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

EXPRES: A Next Generation RV Spectrograph in the Search for Earth-like Worlds

EXPRES: A Next Generation RV Spectrograph in the Search for Earth-like Worlds

The EXtreme PREcision Spectrograph (EXPRES) is an optical fiber fed echelle instrument being designed and built at the Yale Exoplanet Laboratory to be installed on the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope operated by Lowell Observatory.

Astrochemistry

Prebiotic Molecule Detected in Interstellar Cloud

Prebiotic Molecule Detected in Interstellar Cloud

Chiral molecules -- compounds that come in otherwise identical mirror image variations, like a pair of human hands -- are crucial to life as we know it.

Extrasolar Planets

Cloudy Days on Exoplanets May Hide Atmospheric Water

Cloudy Days on Exoplanets May Hide Atmospheric Water

Water is a hot topic in the study of exoplanets, including "hot Jupiters," whose masses are similar to that of Jupiter, but which are much closer to their parent star than Jupiter is to the sun.

Astrobiology (general)

Joint NASA-NSF Ideas Lab on the Origins of Life

Joint NASA-NSF Ideas Lab on the Origins of Life

The Astrobiology Program of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is joining with the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) of the National Science Foundation to sponsor an "Ideas Lab" activity on the Origins of Life.

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