Astrochemistry

Modeling Complex Organic Molecules in Dense Regions

Modeling Complex Organic Molecules in Dense Regions

Recent observations have revealed the existence of Complex Organic Molecules (COMs) in cold dense cores and prestellar cores.

Extrasolar Planets

Making Planets in the Laboratory

Making Planets in the Laboratory

New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planets' formation and evolution processes.

Polar Research

Where Ice sheet, Ocean and Land Converge

Where Ice sheet, Ocean and Land Converge

Using a specially designed hot-water drill to cleanly bore through a half mile of ice, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded team of researchers has become the first ever to reach and sample the "grounding zone," where Antarctic ice, land and sea all converge.

Extrasolar Planets

Nearby M Star With Three Transiting Super-Earths Discovered by K2

Nearby M Star With Three Transiting Super-Earths Discovered by K2

Small, cool planets represent the typical end-products of planetary formation. Studying the architectures of these systems, measuring planet masses and radii, and observing these planets' atmospheres during transit directly informs theories of planet assembly, migration, and evolution.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Extrasolar Planets Are More Hospitable to Life Than Previously Thought

Extrasolar Planets Are More Hospitable to Life Than Previously Thought

A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets - planets outside our solar system - are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than we thought.

Astrobiology (general)

In Memoriam: Antonio Behar

In Memoriam: Antonio Behar

The Astrobiology community deeply mourns the loss of Dr. Antonio Behar, a JPL employee, explorer, colleague, and friend to many. He died in the crash of a small plane on Friday, January 10, 2015, near Van Nuys Airport in the Los Angeles area.

Extrasolar Planets

Ammonia, Water Clouds and Methane Abundances of Giant Exoplanets and Opportunities for Super-Earth Exoplanets

Ammonia, Water Clouds and Methane Abundances of Giant Exoplanets and Opportunities for Super-Earth Exoplanets

Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST/AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths.

Astrochemistry

Infrared Spectra and Chemical Abundance of Methyl Propionate in Icy Astrochemical Conditions

Infrared Spectra and Chemical Abundance of Methyl Propionate in Icy Astrochemical Conditions

We carried out an experiment in order to obtain the InfraRed (IR) spectra of methyl propionate (CH3CH2COOCH3) in astrochemical conditions and present the IR spectra for future identification of this molecule in the InterStellar Medium (ISM).

Extrasolar Planets

Planet Formation in Post-common-envelope Binaries

Planet Formation in Post-common-envelope Binaries

To understand the evolution of planetary systems, it is important to investigate planets in highly evolved stellar systems, and to explore the implications of their observed properties with respect to potential formation scenarios.

Astrochemistry

Search for Methylamine in High Mass Hot Cores

Search for Methylamine in High Mass Hot Cores

We aim to detect methylamine, CH3NH2, in a variety of hot cores and use it as a test for the importance of photon-induced chemistry in ice mantles and mobility of radicals.

Extrasolar Planets

Planetary Systems in Star Clusters

Planetary Systems in Star Clusters

In the solar neighborhood, where the typical relaxation timescale is larger than the cosmic age, at least 10% to 15% of Sun-like stars have planetary systems with Jupiter-mass planets. In contrast, dense star clusters, charactered by frequent close encounters, have been found to host very few planets.

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