Archives

September 2015


During and following the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in southern Chile in 2011, large quantities of ash and pumice filled the air and landed into neighboring lakes.

The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the "tidal zone".

Recent discoveries of circumbinary planets by Kepler mission provide motivation for understanding their birthplaces - protoplanetary disks around stellar binaries with separations <1 AU.

Their diversity makes viruses difficult to classify. A new study uses protein folds as evidence that viruses are living entities that belong on their own branch of the tree of life.

Earth-like planets orbiting close to small stars probably have magnetic fields that protect them from stellar radiation and help maintain surface conditions that could be conducive to life.

Today the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee helad a hearing that reviewed the scientific methods employed to search for life, examine recent scientific discoveries in the field of astrobiology (the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe), and assess the prospects of finding life beyond Earth over the next decade.

By analyzing iron isotopes against the uranium content in the jasper rock from the ancient ocean of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa, scientists have found a defined vertical redox gradient, called a redoxcline, showing a change in the level of oxygenation from the deeper part of the ocean leading to the shallower portion.

In two recently published articles researchers from Instituto de Astrofsica e Cincias do Espao (IA3) show that the ratio of some heavy elements in a star, like Magnesium (Mg), Silicon (Si) and Iron (Fe), have a crucial influence in the composition of rocky exoplanets.

Sensitive new telescopes now permit astronomers to detect the waste heat that is expected to be a signature of advanced alien civilisations that can harness enormous energies on the scale of the stellar output of their own galaxy.

A first draft of the "tree of life" for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes -- from platypuses to puffballs -- has been released.

A global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus, according to new research using data from NASA's Cassini mission.

The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets.

Biological processes on the Earth operate within a parameter space that is constrained by physical and chemical extremes.

The Earth's atmosphere contains oxygen because plants continuously produce it through photosynthesis. This abundant supply of oxygen allows life forms like animals to flourish.

We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars.

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get.

We address the possibility that intelligent civilisations that destroy themselves could present signatures observable by humanity.

Characterizing the bulk atmosphere of a terrestrial planet is important for determining surface pressure and potential habitability.

At the bottom of a frigid Antarctic lake, a thin layer of green slime is generating a little oasis of oxygen, a team including UC Davis researchers has found.

It is well known that newly formed planetary systems undergo processes of orbital reconfiguration and planetary migration.

The detectability of planetesimal impacts on imaged exoplanets can be measured using Jupiter during the 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 events as a proxy.

Studying Carbon-13 (13C) metabolism in a microbial community can be a time-consuming and tricky prospect. This is because scientists often have to separate a single species out of the mix for study.

Reproducing the large Earth/Mars mass ratio requires a strong mass depletion in solids within the protoplanetary disk between 1 and 3 AU.

We report on the tentative detection of trans Ethyl Methyl Ether (tEME), t−CH3CH2OCH3, through the identification of a large number of rotational lines from each one of the spin states of the molecule towards Orion KL.

The long-term carbon cycle is vital for maintaining liquid water oceans on rocky planets due to the negative climate feedbacks involved in silicate weathering.

We report a detection of water vapor in the protoplanetary disk around DoAr 44 with the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph - a visitor instrument on the Gemini north telescope.

Ancient rocks harbored microbial life deep below the seafloor, reports a team of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Virginia Tech, and the University of Bremen.