Archives

August 2018


The ALMA telescope in Chile has transformed how we see the universe, showing us otherwise invisible parts of the cosmos.

Scientists have shown that water is likely to be a major component of those exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) which are between two to four times the size of Earth.

Microscopic plant-like organisms called phytoplankton are known to support the diversity of life in the ocean.

Exoplanetary atmospheric retrieval refers to the inference of atmospheric properties of an exoplanet given an observed spectrum.

With the number of confirmed rocky exoplanets increasing steadily, their characterisation and the search for exoplanetary biospheres is becoming an increasingly urgent issue in astrobiology.

Accurate stellar properties are crucial for determining exoplanet characteristics. Gaia DR2 presents revised distances, luminosities, and radii for 1.6 billion stars.

When you first take a biology class the focus is on memorizing vocabulary and basic principles. If you are really paying attention certain patterns and forms start to emerge from the tedium of rote memorization. A few more classes and the patterns start to reveal the rules that underly those patterns.

If you are also taking chemistry and physics and math then you're already familiar with the rules that govern matter and how to express them. Biology just takes a little more time to reveal itself. Add in some astronomy classes and talk of other worlds like our own and the origin of all of the elements of life being forged in the hearts of dying stars and you arrive at the core premise of "The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution" by Charles Cockell.

A NASA scientist wants to create a planetary robot that would mimic what biologists do every day in terrestrial laboratories: look through microscopes to visually identify microbial life living in samples.

Given that the macromolecular building blocks of life were likely produced photochemically in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, we identify some general constraints on which stars produce sufficient UV for this photochemistry.

With the recent discoveries of terrestrial planets around active M-dwarfs, destruction processes masking the possible presence of life are receiving increased attention in the exoplanet community.

The oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere was thanks, in part, to iron and silica particles in ancient seawater, according to a new study by geomicrobiologists at the University of Alberta. But these results solve only part of this ancient mystery.

Despite their activity, low-mass stars are of particular importance for the search of exoplanets by the means of Doppler spectroscopy, as planets with lower masses become detectable.

LHS 1140 is a nearby mid-M dwarf known to host a temperate rocky super-Earth (LHS 1140 b) on a 24.737-day orbit.

Molecules with an amide functional group resemble peptide bonds, the molecular bridges that connect amino acids, and may thus be relevant in processes that lead to the formation of life.

Scientists have identified a group of planets outside our solar system where the same chemical conditions that may have led to life on Earth exist.

The search for exoplanets has encompassed a broad range of stellar environments, from single stars in the solar neighborhood to multiple stars and various open clusters. The stellar environment has a profound effect on planet formation and stability evolution and is thus a key component of exoplanetary studies.

In addition to long-lived radioactive nuclei like U and Th isotopes, which have been used to measure the age of the Galaxy, also radioactive nuclei with half-lives between 0.1 and 100 million years (short-lived radionuclides, SLRs) were present in the early Solar System (ESS), as indicated by high-precision meteoritic analysis.