Archives

September 2016


A planet orbiting in the "habitable zone" of our closest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri, has recently been discovered, and the next natural question is whether or not Proxima b is "habitable".

A planet having protective ozone within the collimated beam of a Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) may suffer ozone depletion, potentially causing a mass extinction event to existing life on a planet's surface and oceans.

We examine the feasibility of detecting auroral emission from the potentially habitable exoplanet Proxima Centauri b.

A PhD student from the University of Leicester is helping to shed light on life on Mars by exploring similar environments on Earth -- including an underground salt mine in North Yorkshire.

As scientists continue finding evidence for life in the ocean more than 3 billion years ago, those ancient fossils pose a paradox.

Roth et al (2014a) reported evidence for plumes of water venting from a southern high latitude region on Europa - spectroscopic detection of off-limb line emission from the dissociation products of water.

We consider super-Earth sized planets which have a water mass fraction that is large enough to form an external mantle composed of high pressure water ice polymorphs and that lack a substantial H/He atmosphere.

In an effort to further our interest in understanding basic chemistry of interstellar molecules, we carry out here an extensive investigation of the stabilities of interstellar carbon chains; Cn, H2Cn, HCnN and CnX (X=N, O, Si, S, H, P, H-, N-).

A new water bear protein can protect the DNA of human cultured cells from otherwise lethal amounts of radiation damage, say a group of Japanese researchers, providing part of the answer to why tardigrades can live in deadly conditions.

A new study shows that rocks formed by the grinding together of other rocks during earthquakes are rich in trapped hydrogen -- a finding that suggests similar seismic activity on Mars may produce enough hydrogen to support life.

The interstellar medium is characterized by a rich and diverse chemistry. Many of its complex organic molecules are proposed to form through radical chemistry in icy grain mantles.

Since the orbital insertion of the Rosetta spacecraft, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) has been mapped by OSIRIS camera and VIRTIS spectro-imager, producing a huge quantity of images and spectra of the comet's nucleus.

At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red-dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890, or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbor and one of the best studied low-mass stars.

The recent discovery of a planet around the closest star, Proxima Centauri, could represent a quantum leap on the testability of models in exoplanet sciences.

Suppose that advanced civilizations, separated by a cosmological distance and time, wish to maximize their access to cosmic resources by rapidly expanding into the universe.

If a sufficiently advanced civilization can either modulate the emission from an X-ray binary, or make use of the natural high luminosity to power an artificial transmitter, these can serve as good beacons for interstellar communication without involving excessive energy costs to the broadcasting civilization.

For decades, scientists have tried to explain the evidence for fluvial activity on early Mars, but a consensus has yet to emerge regarding the mechanism for producing it.

Previous estimates of the surface temperature of Jupiter's moon, Europa, neglected the effect of the eccentricity of Jupiter's orbit around the Sun, the effect of the eclipse of Europa (i.e., the relative time that Europa is within the shadow of Jupiter), and the effect of Europa's internal heating.

A geologist from the University of Aberdeen is taking part in an ocean expedition that aims to discover how far beneath the Earth life can survive.

Since the dawn of space travel, nations from around the world have shown a commitment to protecting objects in the Solar System from contamination carried from the Earth and into space by spacecraft.

Research by Rice University Earth scientists suggests that virtually all of Earth's life-giving carbon could have come from a collision about 4.4 billion years ago between Earth and an embryonic planet similar to Mercury.

In an extraordinary find, a team of Australian researchers have uncovered the world's oldest fossils in a remote area of Greenland, capturing the earliest history of the planet and demonstrating that life on Earth emerged rapidly in the planet's early years.