Archives

January 2019


This report reviews recent theoretical, experimental, and modeling research on the environments and physical conditions encountered by Mars ejecta during certain processes. It recommends whether missions returning samples from Phobos and/or Deimos should be classified as "restricted" or "unrestricted" Earth return in the framework of the planetary protection policy maintained by COSPAR. This report also considers the specific ways the classification of sample return from Deimos is a different case than sample return from Phobos.

The cometary materials are thought to be the reservoir of primitive materials in the solar system. The recent detection of glycine and CH3NH2 by the ROSINA mass spectrometer in the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko suggests that amino acids and their precursors have been formed in such an early evolutionary phase of the Solar System.

Rotational mapping and glint are two proposed methods to directly detect liquid water on the surface of habitable exoplanets. However, false positives for both methods may prevent the unambiguous detection of exoplanet oceans.

The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) aims to find technological signals of extra-solar origin. Radio frequency SETI is characterized by large unlabeled datasets and complex interference environment.

An image from the international Cassini spacecraft provides evidence of rainfall on the north pole of Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. The rainfall would be the first indication of the start of a summer season in the moon's northern hemisphere.

The C2H4O2 isomers have been previously investigated primarily via disparate sets of observations involving single dish and array measurements.

Star formation is spatially clustered across a range of environments, from dense stellar clusters to unbound associations. As a result, radiative or dynamical interactions with neighbouring stars disrupt (proto)planetary systems and limit their radii, leaving a lasting impact on their potential habitability.

Complex organics are now commonly found in meteorites, comets, asteroids, planetary satellites, and interplanetary dust particles. The chemical composition and possible origin of these organics are presented.

Long range observations in the field of astronomy have opened up our understanding of the Solar System, the Galaxy and the wider Universe. In this paper we discuss the idea of direct in-situ reconnaissance of nearby stellar systems, using robotic probes.

As part of our ongoing search for technosignatures, we collected over three terabytes of data in May 2017 with the L-band receiver (1.15-1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope.

A new Northwestern University study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Atmospheric ozone plays an important role on the temperature structure of the atmosphere. However, it has not been included in previous studies on the effect of an increasing solar radiation on the Earth's climate.

Theories of a pre-RNA world suggest that glycolonitrile (HOCH2CN) is a key species in the process of ribonucleotide assembly, which is considered as a molecular precursor of nucleic acids.

With TESS and ground-based surveys searching for rocky exoplanets around cooler, nearby stars, the number of Earth-sized exoplanets that are well-suited for atmospheric follow-up studies will increase significantly.

Time is arguably the key limiting factor for interstellar exploration. At high speeds, flyby missions to nearby stars by laser propelled wafersats taking 50-100 years would be feasible.

For the first time ever, scientists have developed a way for the SETI community to keep track of, and update, all SETI searches that have been conducted and the results.

Rocky planets orbiting red dwarf stars may be bone dry and lifeless, according to a new study using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Water and organic compounds, essential for life as we know it, may get blown away before they can reach the surface of young planets.

Using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, citizen scientists have discovered a planet roughly twice the size of Earth located within its star's habitable zone, the range of orbital distances where liquid water may exist on the planet's surface.

We show that planets around M-dwarfs with M⋆≲0.2M⊙ may not receive enough photons in the photosynthetically active range of 400-750 nm to sustain Earth-like biospheres.

The recent detections of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting nearby stars and the promise of characterizing their atmospheres motivates a need to understand how the diversity of possible planetary parameters affects the climate of terrestrial planets.

Remote sensing observations indicate that Europa is surrounded by a tenuous atmosphere. Furthermore, recent observations and historic data from Galileo hint at the occurrence of water vapour eruptions originating from the interior that create 200 km high plumes.

We perform a study of stellar flares for the 24,809 stars observed with 2 minute cadence during the first two months of the TESS mission.

We present mid-infrared SOFIA/EXES spectroscopy of Europa, seeking direct evidence of the presence of water vapor arising from plumes venting from the surface of Europa.

A physically realistic stellar wind model based on Alfvén wave dissipation has been used to simulate the wind from Barnard's Star and to calculate the conditions at the location of its recently discovered planetary companion.