Biochemistry

To Understand The Machinery Of Life, This Scientist Breaks It On Purpose

To Understand The Machinery Of Life, This Scientist Breaks It On Purpose

"I'm fascinated with life, and that's why I want to break it." This is how Betül Kaçar, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona with appointments in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Astronomy and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, describes her research.

Climate

Reconstructing Global Climate Through Earth's History

Reconstructing Global Climate Through Earth's History

A key component when forecasting what the Earth's climate might look like in the future is the ability to draw on accurate temperature records of the past.

Fossils

Discovery Of The Oldest Evidence Of Mobility On Earth

Discovery Of The Oldest Evidence Of Mobility On Earth

A few years ago, geologist Abderrazak El Albani and his team at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) discovered the oldest existing fossils of multicellular organisms in a deposit in Gabon

Mars

Potential for Observing Methane on Mars Using Earth-based Extremely Large Telescopes

Potential for Observing Methane on Mars Using Earth-based Extremely Large Telescopes

The Red Planet has fascinated humans for millennia, especially for the last few centuries, and particularly during the Space Age. The nagging suspicion of extant Martian life is both fed by, and drives the many space missions to Mars and recent detections of large, seasonal volumes of atmospheric methane have re-fuelled the discussion.

Titan

The Science Case For A Titan Flagship-class Orbiter With Probes

The Science Case For A Titan Flagship-class Orbiter With Probes

We outline a flagship-class mission concept focused on studying Titan as a global system, with particular emphasis on the polar regions.

Astrobiology (general)

Please Consider A Donation To The Hipkin-Rummel Get Well Soon Fund

Please Consider A Donation To The Hipkin-Rummel Get Well Soon Fund

Keith's note: I have known John Rummel for 35 years. I first worked with him at the old Life Science Division at NASA Headquarters. He has made an indelible mark on NASA's search for life in the universe. Please consider making a donation to help out John and his family in this time of need.

Extrasolar Planets

Optical Transmission Spectroscopy of the Terrestrial Exoplanet LHS 3844b from 13 Ground-Based Transit Observations

Optical Transmission Spectroscopy of the Terrestrial Exoplanet LHS 3844b from 13 Ground-Based Transit Observations

Atmospheric studies of spectroscopically accessible terrestrial exoplanets lay the groundwork for comparative planetology between these worlds and the Solar System terrestrial planets.

Extrasolar Planets

Effects of Flux Variation on the Surface Temperatures of Earth-like Circumbinary Planets

Effects of Flux Variation on the Surface Temperatures of Earth-like Circumbinary Planets

The Kepler Space telescope has uncovered around thirteen circumbinary planets (CBPs) that orbit a pair of stars and experience two sources of stellar flux.

Venus

Could the Migration of Jupiter have Accelerated the Atmospheric Evolution of Venus?

Could the Migration of Jupiter have Accelerated the Atmospheric Evolution of Venus?

In the study of planetary habitability and terrestrial atmospheric evolution, the divergence of surface conditions for Venus and Earth remains an area of active research.

Oceanic Research

Discovery Transforms Understanding Of Hydrogen Depletion At The Seafloor

Discovery Transforms Understanding Of Hydrogen Depletion At The Seafloor

The discovery of hydrothermal vents - where volcanoes at the seafloor produce hot fluid exceeding 350 degrees Celsius, or 662 degrees Fahrenheit, fundamentally changed our understanding about Earth and life in the 1970s. Yet, life at and underneath the seafloor is still very much a mystery today.

Enceladus

A Recipe for Geophysical Exploration of Enceladus

A Recipe for Geophysical Exploration of Enceladus

Orbital geophysical investigations of Enceladus are critical to understand its energy balance. Mapping Enceladus' gravity field, improving the accuracy of the physical libration amplitude, and measuring Enceladus' tidal response would provide critical constraints on the internal structure, thus establishing a framework for assessing Enceladus' long-term habitability.

More top stories from August.