Archives

July 2017


Until now, SETI experiments (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), whether listening for a radio transmitter or searching for a high-powered laser, have assumed that ET is on-the-air all the time, so that wherever the instrument is pointed, the signal will be there. Laser SETI is the first experiment to circumvent this assumption.

Astronomers have used an Australian radio telescope to observe molecular signatures from stars, gas and dust in our galaxy, which could lead to the detection of complex molecules that are precursors to life.

As evident from the nearby examples of Proxima Centauri and TRAPPIST-1, Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars are common. Here, we focus on such planetary systems and argue that their (oceanic) tides could be more prominent due to stronger tidal forces.

Despite the fact that the observed gradient in water content among the Galilean satellites is globally consistent with a formation in a circum-Jovian disk on both sides of the snowline, the mechanisms that led to a low water mass fraction in Europa (∼8%) are not yet understood.

A paradigm-shifting hypothesis laid out by UC Santa Cruz astrobiologists David Deamer and Bruce Damer could reshape our idea about the origin of life

Much attention has been given in the literature to the effects of astrophysical events on human and land-based life. However, little has been discussed on the resilience of life itself.

Using a combination of fossils and chemical markers, scientists have tracked how a period of globally low ocean-oxygen turned an Early Jurassic marine ecosystem into a stressed community inhabited by only a few species.

One of the primary open questions of astrobiology is whether there is extant or extinct life elsewhere the Solar System.

Large, robust, lens-shaped microfossils from the approximately 3.4 billion-year-old Kromberg Formation of the Kaapvaal Craton in eastern South Africa are not only among the oldest elaborate microorganisms known.

The National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory and the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo joined the Red Dots project in the search for new planets around our nearest stars.

Two separate teams of scientists have identified major challenges for the development of life in what has recently become one of the most famous exoplanet systems, TRAPPIST-1.

Two fundamental problems for extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) attempting to establish interstellar communication are timing and energy consumption.

One of the most fundamental questions in exoplanetology is to determine whether a given planet is habitable.

The discovery of exoplanets has both focused and expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Radio Exploration of Planetary Habitability was the fifth in the series of American Astronomical Society's Topical Conference Series.

Solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) produce adverse space weather effects at Earth.

We report the first detection and high angular resolution (1.8" × 1.1") imaging of acetic acid (CH3COOH) and gGg′--ethylene glycol (gGg′(CH2OH)2) towards the Orion Kleinmann--Low nebula.

There is a long-standing debate regarding the origin of the terrestrial planets' water as well as the hydrated C-type asteroids. Here we show that the inner Solar System's water is a simple byproduct of the giant planets' formation.

We present experimental constraints on the insertion of oxygen atoms into methane to form methanol in astrophysical ice analogs.

We report the detection of the carbon-chain radical HC5O for the first time in the interstellar medium toward the dark cloud TMC-1 using the 100 m Green Bank Telescope.

The astronomical observation of isopropyl cyanide further stresses the link between the chemical composition of the ISM and molecular composition of the meteorites in which there is a dominance of branched chain amino acids as compared to the straight.

Earth's tectonic processes regulate the formation of continental crust, control its unique deep water and carbon cycles, and are vital to its surface habitability.

New models of massive stellar eruptions hint at an extra layer of complexity when considering whether an exoplanet may be habitable or not.