Archives

April 2019


Magnetic activity and surface flows at different scales pertub radial velocity measurements.

Discovering new biological targets is a critical part of our ongoing battle against diseases. Over the years, scientists have made impressive progress towards the understanding of biological systems, constantly identifying novel targets.

An exoplanet's habitability will depend strongly on the presence of liquid water. Flux and/or polarization measurements of starlight that is reflected by exoplanets could help to identify exo-oceans.

Recent advances in laboratory spectroscopy lead to the claim of ionized Buckminsterfullerene (C60+) as the carrier of two diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) in the near-infrared.

Since its discovery in 2016, planetary scientists have been excited about TRAPPIST-1, a system where seven Earth-sized rocky planets orbit a cool star.

A terrestrial planet is molten during formation and may remain so if subject to intense insolation or tidal forces. Observations continue to favour the detection and characterisation of hot planets, potentially with large outgassed atmospheres.

Cyanogen (NCCN) is the simplest member of the dicyanopolyynes group, and has been proposed as a major source of the CN radical observed in cometary atmospheres. Although not detected through its rotational spectrum in the cold interstellar medium, this very stable species is supposed to be very abundant.

Researchers say mercury buried in ancient rock provides the strongest evidence yet that volcanoes caused the biggest mass extinction in the history of the Earth.

A Martian water-ice cloud climatology has been extracted from OMEGA data covering 7 Martian years (MY 26-32).

We report the observation on UT 2017.07.01 of an unusually powerful flare detected in near-infrared continuum photometry of Proxima Centauri.

Gas hydrates formed in oceans and permafrost occur in vast quantities on Earth representing both a massive potential fuel source and a large threat in climate forecasts. They have been predicted to be important on other bodies in our solar systems such as Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

Primitive ponds may have provided a suitable environment for brewing up Earth's first life forms, more so than oceans, a new MIT study finds.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia have discovered a unique oil eating bacteria in the deepest part of the Earth's oceans - the Mariana Trench.

The discovery provides a new characteristic 'biosignature' to track the remains of ancient life preserved in rocks which are significantly altered over billions of years and could help identify life elsewhere in the Solar System.

The 2019 Breakthrough Discuss Conference: "Migration of Life in the Universe" is being held on 11-12 April. A live webcast starts at 8:00 am PDT/11:00 am EDT at http://www.youtube.com/breakthroughprize. Details on the event can be found here. Live tweeting will be done at @Astrobiology

Hydrocarbons play key roles in atmospheric and biogeochemistry, the energy economy, and climate change.

Rocky, Earth-like planets orbiting our closest stars could host life, according to a new study that raises the excitement about exoplanets.

An Earth-like planetary magnetic field has been widely invoked as a requirement for habitability as it purportedly mitigates the fluxes of ionizing radiation reaching the surface and the escape of neutrals and ions from the atmosphere.

Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. The thousands of exoplanets discovered over the past decade have most recently been supplemented by discoveries of potentially habitable planets around nearby low-mass stars.

Detecting and confirming terrestrial planets is incredibly difficult due to their tiny size and mass relative to Sun-like host stars.

The closest potentially habitable worlds outside our Solar system orbit a different kind of star than our Sun: smaller red dwarf stars.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of humankind's major long-term health challenges. Now research into helping humans live on Mars could help address this looming problem.

The observational study of stars in the sub-millimetre regime has only rather recently begun and was made possible mainly by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

A comprehensive catalogue of the bacteria and fungi found on surfaces inside the International Space Station (ISS) is being presented in a study published in the open access journal Microbiome.

Resarchers from Hungary have discovered embedded organic material in a Martian meteorite found in the late 1970s.

While exploring hydrothermal vent and cold seep environments, Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia), and her interdisciplinary research team discovered large venting mineral towers that reach up to 23 meters in height and 10 meters across.

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth's Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world.

Aims. In this letter, we calculate for the first time the full transonic hydrodynamic escape of an Earth-like atmosphere.

It is a truism within the exoplanet field that "to know the planet, you must know the star." This pertains to the physical properties of the star (i.e. mass, radius, luminosity, age, multiplicity), the activity and magnetic fields, as well as the stellar elemental abundances which can be used as a proxy for planetary composition.

Context. Astrobiological evolution of the Milky Way (or the shape of its "astrobiological landscape") has emerged as one of the key research topics in recent years.

In the near-future, atmospheric characterization of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone will become possible via reflectance spectroscopy with future telescopes such as the proposed LUVOIR and HabEx missions.

Titan's abundant lakes and seas exchange methane vapor and energy with the atmosphere via a process generally known as air-sea interaction.

Volatile organic molecules formed by photochemistry in the upper atmosphere of Titan can undergo condensation as pure ices in the stratosphere and the troposphere as well as condense as ice layers onto the organic aerosols that are visible as the haze layers of Titan.

A reanalysis of data collected by ESA's Mars Express during the first 20 months of NASA's Curiosity mission found one case of correlated methane detection, the first time an in-situ measurement has been independently confirmed from orbit.

The United States possesses a treasure-trove of extraterrestrial samples that were returned to Earth via space missions over the past four decades. Analyses of these previously returned samples have led to major breakthroughs in the understanding of the age, composition, and origin of the solar system.

It is now recognized that energetic stellar photon and particle radiation evaporates and erodes planetary atmospheres and controls upper atmospheric chemistry.