Archives

July 2015


You might know it as a drink for hipsters or as an ancient brew drunk for centuries in Eurasia, but the culture that ferments sugary tea into Kombucha is going around the world. Bolted to the outside of the International Space Station are the same bacteria and yeasts that are used in making Kombucha.

The Astrobiological Periodic Table has been developed by astrobiologist Charles Cockell.

The debris disk around the Vega-type star HD 34700 is detected in dust thermal emission from the near infrared (IR) to millimeter (mm) and submm wavelength range.

We report on the discovery and validation of Kepler-452b, a transiting planet identified by a search through the 4 years of data collected by NASA's Kepler Mission.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

The discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star brings us closer than ever to finding a twin of our own watery world.

NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the "habitable zone" around a sun-like star.

Hydrogen peroxide -- commonly used as hair bleach -- may have provided the energy source for the development of life on Earth, two applied mathematicians have found.

Planet Earth is situated in what astronomers call the Goldilocks Zone -- a sweet spot in a solar system where a planet's surface temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.

A fundamental astrobiological question is whether life arose spontaneously on earth or was transported here from an extrasolar system.

Anyone who's ever noticed a water puddle drying in the sun has seen an environment that may have driven the type of chemical reactions that scientists believe were critical to the formation of life on the early Earth.

Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founder, internet investor Yuri Milner, have signed a contract with the University of California, Berkeley, to lead a major escalation in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI.

Studies find airplane crews at high altitude are exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation from cosmic rays.

Titan is a mysterious orange-socked moon of Saturn that is exciting to astrobiologists because it has some of the same kinds of chemicals that were precursors to life on Earth. Its atmosphere is 95 percent nitrogen, but it also has a tad bit of methane, predominantly close to the surface.

The field of astrobiology has made huge strides in understanding the habitable zones around stars (Stellar Habitable Zones) where life can begin, sustain its existence and evolve into complex forms.

Detailed characterization of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere provides the best hope for distinguishing the makeup of its outer layers, and the only hope for understanding the interplay between initial composition, chemistry, dynamics & circulation, and disequilibrium processes.

The flyby will create a landmark in our understanding of Pluto's atmosphere, geology, and other surface conditions and increase our understanding of what lies further on in the Kuiper Belt.The flyby will create a landmark in our understanding of Pluto's atmosphere, geology, and other surface conditions and increase our understanding of what lies further on in the Kuiper Belt.

At the bottom of the sea, volcanic and magmatic forces create hot springs that spew super-heated water into the deep ocean.

We present a comprehensive study of the abundance of carbon dioxide in exoplanetary atmospheres.

A recent study by Ramirez et al. (2014) demonstrated that an atmosphere with 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and H2O, in addition to 5-20% H2, could have raised the mean annual and global surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water.