March 2018

Cyclic sedimentation has varied at several timescales and this variability has been geologically well documented at Milankovitch timescales, controlled in part by climatically (insolation) driven sea-level changes.

Exoplanets mass measurements will be a critical next step to assess the habitability of Earth-like planets: a key aspect of the 2020 vision in the previous decadal survey and also central to NASA's strategic priorities.

Recent discoveries of potentially habitable exoplanets have ignited the prospect of spectroscopic investigations of exoplanet surfaces and atmospheres for signs of life.

The organic content of protoplanetary disks sets the initial compositions of planets and comets, thereby influencing subsequent chemistry that is possible in nascent planetary systems.

Because of the recent technological advances, the key technologies needed for precision space optical astrometry are now in hand.

In support of the National Acadamies' Exoplanet Science Strategy, this whitepaper outlines key technology challenges for studying the diversity of worlds in the Galaxy and in searching for habitable planets.

Astronomers at Yale University, in collaboration with Lowell Observatory, are embarking on a search that will answer one of the oldest questions in astronomy: Are there planets similar to Earth orbiting other stars?

EarthFinder is a Probe Mission concept selected for study by NASA for input to the 2020 astronomy decadal survey.

It is currently unknown how common life is on exoplanets, or how long planets can remain viable for life.

Scientists report the existence of 15 new planets -- including one 'super-Earth' that could harbor liquid water -- orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system.

For the first time, scientists from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) will deploy a small fleet of long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) that have the ability to collect and archive seawater samples automatically.

The discovery of a truly habitable exoplanet would be one of the most important events in the history of science.

Scientists have used lab experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space, showing pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.

Take a good look at these photos: They show you 1.6 billion years old fossilized oxygen bubbles, created by tiny microbes in what was once a shallow sea somewhere on young Earth.

This is a white paper in response to the National Academy of Sciences "Exoplanet Science Strategy" call. We summarize recent advances in theoretical habitability studies and argue that such studies will remain important for guiding and interpreting observations.

Habitable planetary are commonly imagined to be temperate planets like Earth, with areas of open ocean and warm land. In contrast, planets with colder surfaces and permanent snowball states, where oceans are entirely ice-covered, are believed to be inhospitable.

Much like detectives who study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the "fingerprints" of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away.

Formation of organic aerosols driven by photochemical reactions has been observed and suggested in CH4-containing atmospheres, including Titan and early Earth.

An international research project led by the University of Granada has revealed for the first time that almost one billion viruses and more than twenty million bacteria circulate in the Earth's atmosphere and are deposited in high-mountain places every day.

NASA researchers have confirmed the existence in Titan's atmosphere of vinyl cyanide, which is an organic compound that could potentially provide the cellular membranes for microbial life to form in Titan's vast methane oceans.