Astrochemistry

The Formation Of Glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) From Reactions Of C+ With HCN And HNC On Icy Grain Mantles

The Formation Of Glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) From Reactions Of C+ With HCN And HNC On Icy Grain Mantles

Quantum chemical cluster calculations show that reactions of C+ with HCN or HNC embedded in the surface of an icy grain mantle can account for the formation of a recently detected molecule, glycolonitrile, which is considered to be an important precursor to ribonucleic compounds.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Did Early Life Need Long, Complex Molecules To Make Cell-like Compartments?

Did Early Life Need Long, Complex Molecules To Make Cell-like Compartments?

Protocell compartments used as models for an important step in the early evolution of life on Earth can be made from short polymers.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Study Reveals True Origin Of Oldest Evidence Of Animals

Study Reveals True Origin Of Oldest Evidence Of Animals

Two teams of scientists have resolved a longstanding controversy surrounding the origins of complex life on Earth.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Methane As A Dominant Absorber In The Habitable-zone Sub-Neptune K2-18 b

Methane As A Dominant Absorber In The Habitable-zone Sub-Neptune K2-18 b

In their Letter, Tsiaras et al.1 reported the detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of K2-18 b, an exoplanet of 7 to 10 Earth masses located in the habitable zone of an M-dwarf star.

Plant Biology

To Boldly Go, We Must Boldly Grow

To Boldly Go, We Must Boldly Grow

Past as Prologue - When asked what the future holds for humans in space, it's tempting to recall the plots of favorite science-fiction films. Often, they involve astronauts, rockets, and intergalactic conflict--rarely do they explore the essential "behind-the-scenes" science that enables space exploration.

Astrochemistry

INFRA-ICE: An Ultra-high Vacuum Experimental Station For Laboratory Astrochemistry

INFRA-ICE: An Ultra-high Vacuum Experimental Station For Laboratory Astrochemistry

Laboratory astrochemistry aims at simulating in the laboratory some of the chemical and physical processes that operate in different regions of the Universe.

Venus

Brightness Modulations Of Our Nearest Terrestrial Planet Venus Reveal Atmospheric Super-rotation Rather Than Surface Features

Brightness Modulations Of Our Nearest Terrestrial Planet Venus Reveal Atmospheric Super-rotation Rather Than Surface Features

Terrestrial exoplanets orbiting within or near their host stars' habitable zone are potentially apt for life. It has been proposed that time-series measurements of reflected starlight from such planets will reveal their rotational period, main surface features and some atmospheric information.

Plant Biology

Growing Radish Plants On The International Space Station

Growing Radish Plants On The International Space Station

Radish plants are pictured growing inside the Columbus laboratory module's Plant Habitat-02. NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins harvested leaves from the plants for the space botany experiment that is exploring the capability for food production in microgravity.

Astrochemistry

The Cosmic Dust in Your Bones

The Cosmic Dust in Your Bones

Discovering too much money in your bank account may not be what you would call a "crisis," but it would still be unexpected and you should figure out how it got there. Astronomers find themselves in a similar position when calculating the amount of dust galaxies should have; there is more dust than expected, and they don't know where it's coming from.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Hubble WFC3 Spectroscopy of the Habitable-zone Super-Earth LHS 1140 b

Hubble WFC3 Spectroscopy of the Habitable-zone Super-Earth LHS 1140 b

Atmospheric characterisation of temperate, rocky planets is the holy grail of exoplanet studies. These worlds are at the limits of our capabilities with current instrumentation in transmission spectroscopy and challenge our state-of-the-art statistical techniques.

Extrasolar Planets

Imaging The Dusty Substructures Due To Terrestrial Planets In Planet-forming Disks With ALMA And The Next Generation Very Large Array

Imaging The Dusty Substructures Due To Terrestrial Planets In Planet-forming Disks With ALMA And The Next Generation Very Large Array

We present simulations of the capabilities of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and of a Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) to detect and resolve substructures due to terrestrial planets and Super-Earths in nearby planet-forming disks.

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