Astrochemistry

Cyanide Compounds In Meteorites May Hold Clues To The Origin Of Life

Cyanide Compounds In Meteorites May Hold Clues To The Origin Of Life

Cyanide and carbon monoxide are both deadly poisons to humans, but compounds containing iron, cyanide, and carbon monoxide discovered in carbon-rich meteorites by a team of scientists at Boise State University and NASA may have helped power life on early Earth.

Astrochemistry

Hubble Finds Buckminsterfullerene In Space

Hubble Finds Buckminsterfullerene In Space

Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the interstellar medium (ISM) - the gas and dust that fills interstellar space.

Enceladus

Abundance of Gases in Enceladus's Ocean Are A Potential Fuel For Life

Abundance of Gases in Enceladus's Ocean Are A Potential Fuel For Life

The subsurface ocean of Saturn's moon Enceladus probably has higher than previously known concentrations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen and a more Earthlike pH level, possibly providing conditions favorable to life, according to new research from planetary scientists at the University of Washington.

Titan

Bathtub Rings Around Titan's Lakes Might Be Made Of Alien Crystals

Bathtub Rings Around Titan's Lakes Might Be Made Of Alien Crystals

The frigid lakeshores of Saturn's moon Titan might be encrusted with strange, unearthly minerals, according to new research being presented here.

Mars

Life On Mars Was Possible After Last Great Meteorite Impact

Life On Mars Was Possible After Last Great Meteorite Impact

A new international study led by Western University shows that Mars' first 'real chance' at developing life started very early, 4.48 billion years ago, when giant, life-inhibiting meteorites stopped striking the red planet.

Mars

Curiosity Detects Unusually High Methane Levels On Mars

Curiosity Detects Unusually High Methane Levels On Mars

This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission -- about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv).

Conferences and Meetings

AbSciCon 2019 - Livestream

AbSciCon 2019 - Livestream

AbSciCon 2019 is the next in a series of conferences organized by the astrobiology community. AbSciCon will be held 24-28 June 2019 in Bellevue, Washington.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Our Changing Views of Habitable Planets

Our Changing Views of Habitable Planets

The main idea is easy to grasp: Set Goldilocks loose in our galaxy and let her choose a planet that's "just right." For decades, the Goldilocks zone has been the go-to shorthand for scientists. More formally known as the "habitable zone," it's the region around a star where the temperature is just right for liquid water to pool on the surface of planets with suitable atmospheres.

Astrochemistry

Amino Acid Chiral Selection Via Weak Interactions in Stellar Environments: Implications for the Origin of Life

Amino Acid Chiral Selection Via Weak Interactions in Stellar Environments: Implications for the Origin of Life

Magnetochiral phenomena may be responsible for the selection of chiral states of biomolecules in meteoric environments.

SETI

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: Observations of 1327 Nearby Stars over 1.10-3.45 GHz

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: Observations of 1327 Nearby Stars over 1.10-3.45 GHz

Breakthrough Listen (BL) is a ten-year initiative to search for signatures of technologically capable life beyond Earth via radio and optical observations of the local Universe.

Genomics and Cell Biology

A Prebiotic Route to DNA

A Prebiotic Route to DNA

DNA, the hereditary material, may have appeared on Earth earlier than has been assumed hitherto. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich chemists led by Oliver Trapp show that a simple reaction pathway could have given rise to DNA subunits on the early Earth.

More top stories from June.