Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Implications of Clustered Star formation For (proto)planetary Systems and Habitability

The Implications of Clustered Star formation For (proto)planetary Systems and Habitability

Star formation is spatially clustered across a range of environments, from dense stellar clusters to unbound associations. As a result, radiative or dynamical interactions with neighbouring stars disrupt (proto)planetary systems and limit their radii, leaving a lasting impact on their potential habitability.

Astrochemistry

Organics in the Solar System

Organics in the Solar System

Complex organics are now commonly found in meteorites, comets, asteroids, planetary satellites, and interplanetary dust particles. The chemical composition and possible origin of these organics are presented.

SETI

Interstellar Probes: The Benefits to Astronomy and Astrophysics

Interstellar Probes: The Benefits to Astronomy and Astrophysics

Long range observations in the field of astronomy have opened up our understanding of the Solar System, the Galaxy and the wider Universe. In this paper we discuss the idea of direct in-situ reconnaissance of nearby stellar systems, using robotic probes.

SETI

A Search for Technosignatures From TRAPPIST-1, LHS 1140, and 10 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field

A Search for Technosignatures From TRAPPIST-1, LHS 1140, and 10 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field

As part of our ongoing search for technosignatures, we collected over three terabytes of data in May 2017 with the L-band receiver (1.15-1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope.

Genomics and Cell Biology

Bacteria on the International Space Station Are Adapting to Survive, Not to Harm

Bacteria on the International Space Station Are Adapting to Survive, Not to Harm

A new Northwestern University study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Climate Sensitivity to Ozone and its Relevance on the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

Climate Sensitivity to Ozone and its Relevance on the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

Atmospheric ozone plays an important role on the temperature structure of the atmosphere. However, it has not been included in previous studies on the effect of an increasing solar radiation on the Earth's climate.

Astrochemistry

First Detection of the pre-biotic Molecule Glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) in the Interstellar Medium

First Detection of the pre-biotic Molecule Glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) in the Interstellar Medium

Theories of a pre-RNA world suggest that glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) is a key species in the process of ribonucleotide assembly, which is considered as a molecular precursor of nucleic acids.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Oxyometer: A Novel Instrument Concept for Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres

The Oxyometer: A Novel Instrument Concept for Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres

With TESS and ground-based surveys searching for rocky exoplanets around cooler, nearby stars, the number of Earth-sized exoplanets that are well-suited for atmospheric follow-up studies will increase significantly.

Panspermia

Planting Earth Life on Habitable but Sterile M-dwarf Oxygen Planets

Planting Earth Life on Habitable but Sterile M-dwarf Oxygen Planets

Time is arguably the key limiting factor for interstellar exploration. At high speeds, flyby missions to nearby stars by laser propelled wafersats taking 50-100 years would be feasible.

SETI

First Comprehensive, Interactive Tool to Track SETI Searches

First Comprehensive, Interactive Tool to Track SETI Searches

For the first time ever, scientists have developed a way for the SETI community to keep track of, and update, all SETI searches that have been conducted and the results.

Astrochemistry

Young Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs May Lack Ingredients for Life

Young Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs May Lack Ingredients for Life

Rocky planets orbiting red dwarf stars may be bone dry and lifeless, according to a new study using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Water and organic compounds, essential for life as we know it, may get blown away before they can reach the surface of young planets.

More top stories from January.