July 2018

In 1924, Russian biochemist Alexander Oparin claimed that life on Earth developed through gradual chemical changes of organic molecules, in the "primordial soup" which likely existed on Earth four billion years ago.

Models of thermal evolution, crustal production, and CO2 cycling are used to constrain the prospects for habitability of rocky planets, with Earth-like size and composition, in the stagnant lid regime.

We present a catalog of spectra and geometric albedos, representative of the different types of Solar System bodies, from 0.45 to 2.5 microns.

All living things use the genetic code to "translate" DNA-based genetic information into proteins, which are the main working molecules in cells. Precisely how the complex process of translation arose in the earliest stages of life on Earth more than four billion years ago has long been mysterious, but two theoretical biologists have now made a significant advance in resolving this mystery.

Proxima b is our nearest potentially rocky exoplanet and represents a formidable opportunity for exoplanet science and possibly astrobiology.

Moons are suspected to influence rocky exoplanet habitability, and gaseous exoplanets in stellar habitable zones could harbour abundant and diverse moons to target in the search for extraterrestrial habitats.

An Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a white dwarf would be exposed to different UV environments than Earth, influencing both its atmospheric photochemistry and UV surface environment.

The formation of asteroids, comets and planets occurs in the interior of protoplanetary disks during the early phase of star formation.

Currently, Mars is the celestial object with the biggest quantity of devices made by mankind.

The habitable zone (HZ) is the circular region around a star(s) where standing bodies of water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. Space missions employ the HZ to select promising targets for follow-up habitability assessment.

We estimate the relative likelihood of success in the searches for primitive versus intelligent life on other planets.

While the Moon is uninhabitable today, there could have been life on its surface in the distant past.

New comprehensive mapping of the radiation pummeling Jupiter's icy moon Europa reveals where scientists should look -- and how deep they'll have to go -- when searching for signs of habitability and biosignatures.

The Cassini/Huygens mission provided new insights on the chemistry of the upper atmosphere of Titan.

Sleuthing by a Rice University postdoctoral fellow is part of a new Nature paper that gives credence to theories about Earth's atmosphere 1.4 billion years ago.

Scientists have tried to find the safest and most effective ways to explore marine life in the oceanic water, the largest and least explored environment on Earth, for years.

Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe.

Using an idealised general circulation model, we investigate the atmospheric circulation of Earth-like terrestrial planets in a variety of orbital configurations.

Earth, Mars, and Venus, irradiated by an evolving Sun, have had fascinating but diverging histories of habitability. Although only Earth's surface is considered to be habitable today, all three planets might have simultaneously been habitable early in their histories.

In the last decade, about a dozen giant exoplanets have been directly imaged in the IR as companions to young stars.

On planets near M dwarfs, photosynthesis (PS) will occur with an effectiveness which depends on the supply of visible photons with wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm. In this paper, we quantify the effectiveness of PS in two contexts which are relevant for M dwarfs.

The banded iron formation, located in western China, has been conclusively dated as Cambrian in age. Approximately 527 million years old, this formation is young by comparison to the majority of discoveries to date.

Last autumn, the world was excited by the discovery of an exoplanet called Ross 128 b, which is just 11 light-years away from Earth.

Earth's oxygen levels rose and fell more than once hundreds of millions of years before the planetwide success of the Great Oxidation Event about 2.4 billion years ago, new research from the University of Washington shows.

Carbon-enriched rocky exoplanets have been proposed around dwarf stars as well as around binary stars, white dwarfs and pulsars. However, the mineralogical make up of such planets is poorly constrained.

inds of many evolutionary biologists, the continents were irrelevant early in the Earth's history, because they are assumed to have been barren of life until the first plants appeared, around 0.4 billion years ago.

A new instrument to search for potentially habitable/inhabited planets has started operation at the Subaru Telescope. This instrument, IRD (InfraRed Doppler), will look for habitable planets around red dwarf stars.

The current process for planetary protection policy development is inadequate to respond to increasingly complex solar system exploration missions, says a new report.