Archives

October 2019


Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are animals that can survive extreme conditions.

Correct estimates of stellar extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 100 - 1170 Å) flux are important for studying the photochemistry and stability of exoplanet atmospheres, as EUV radiation ionizes hydrogen and contributes to the heating, expansion, and potential escape of a planet's upper atmosphere.

Mars once had salt lakes that are similar to those on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods, according to an international team of scientists that includes a Texas A&M University College of Geosciences researcher.

Fractured rocks of impact craters have been suggested to host deep microbial communities on Earth, and potentially other terrestrial planets, yet direct evidence remains elusive.

NASA released a report Friday with recommendations from the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB) the agency established in response to a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report and a recommendation from the NASA Advisory Council. Full report: NASA Response to Planetary Protection Independent Review Board Recommendations

We investigate the possibility of finding Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of 34 nearby FGK-dwarfs, each known to host one giant planet exterior to their habitable zone detected by RV.

Volatile molecules are critical to habitability, yet difficult to observe directly at the optically thick midplanes of protoplanetary disks, where planets form.

We investigated the chemical evolution of HC3N in six dense molecular clouds, using archival available data from the Herschel infrared Galactic Plane Survey (Hi-GAL) and the Millimeter Astronomy Legacy Team Survey at 90 GHz (MALT90).

Sedimentary deposits characterized by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover provide evidence that Gale crater, Mars intermittently hosted a fluvio-lacustrine environment during the Hesperian.

NASA will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss recommendations presented by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB), established in June 2019 by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate.

About 4000 exoplanets have been confirmed since the year of 1992, and for most of the planets, the main parameters that can be measured are planetary radius and mass.

Exporting terrestrial life out of the Solar System requires a process that both embeds microbes in boulders and ejects those boulders out of the Solar System.

Zeroth moment maps of some simple molecules, and selected transitions of COMs.

Terrestrial planets orbiting within the habitable zones of M-stars are likely to become tidally locked in a 1:1 spin:orbit configuration and are prime targets for future characterization efforts.

The energy balance and climate of planets can be affected by the reflective properties of their land, ocean, and frozen surfaces.

We explore here the prospects for detection of both giant circumbinary exoplanets, and brown dwarfs orbiting Galactic double white dwarfs binaries (DWDs) with the LISA mission.

We present an observational study of the sulfur (S)-bearing species towards Orion KL at 1.3 mm by combining ALMA and IRAM-30m single-dish data.

A long-term goal of exoplanet studies is the identification and detection of biosignature gases. Beyond the most discussed biosignature gas O2, only a handful of gases have been considered in detail.

Phosphorus is a key ingredient in terrestrial biochemistry, but is rarely observed in the molecular ISM and therefore little is known about how it is inherited during the star and planet formation sequence.

The investigation of star forming regions have enormously benefited from the recent advent of the ALMA interferometer.

The star EPIC 249706694 (HD 139139) was found to exhibit 28 transit-like events over an 87 day period during the Kepler mission's K2 Campaign 15 (Rappaport et al. 2019).

Effective deposition velocities in the converged atmosphere-ocean chemistry solutions. Solid lines are from the Sun-like star cases, and dashed lines are from the GJ 876 cases. The effective deposition velocities are self-consistently calculated, and are different from case to case.

Comets screaming through the atmosphere of early Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour likely contained measurable amounts of protein-forming amino acids.

The increasing number of newly detected exoplanets at short orbital periods raises questions about their formation and migration histories.

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (hereafter, comet 21P/G-Z) is a Jupiter-family comet and a parent comet of the October Draconids meteor shower.

The habitable fraction of a planet's surface is important for the detectability of surface biosignatures.

The composition of comets in the solar system come in multiple groups thought to encode information about their formation in different regions o fthe outer protosolar disk.

The goal of this research is to study how the fragmentation of planetary embryos can affect the physical and dynamical properties of terrestrial planets around solar-type stars.

To truly understand how the body works and improve human health, researchers need to tease apart the building blocks of our cells. But as scientists continue to make major breakthroughs in cellular biology, an important question lingers: How did cells originally form billions of years ago?

If you could travel back in time 3.5 billion years, what would Mars look like? The picture is evolving among scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover.

A new study of the Ovda Fluctus lava flow on Venus indicates that it is made of basaltic lava. This discovery weakens the notion that Venus might once have been Earth-like with an ancient ocean of liquid water.

Uncovering how the first biological molecules (like proteins and DNA) arose is a major goal for researchers attempting to solve the origin of life.

About 466 Mya, a major impact event took place between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Space dust spread all across the Solar System, and some of it was found near Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and in the south of Sweden.

Titan is unique in the solar system as it hosts a dense atmosphere mainly made of N2 and CH4. Cassini-Huygens revealed the presence of an intense atmospheric photochemistry initiated by the photo-dissociation and ionization of N2 and CH4.

A radio transmitter which is accelerating with a non-zero radial component with respect to a receiver will produce a signal that appears to change its frequency over time. This effect, commonly produced in astrophysical situations where orbital and rotational motions are ubiquitous, is called a drift rate.

In the science fiction film Interstellar, a band of intrepid astronauts sets out to explore a system of planets orbiting a supermassive black hole, searching for a world that may be conducive to hosting human life.

We study the effects of grain surface reactions on the chemistry of protoplanetary disks where gas, ice surface layers and icy mantles of dust grains are considered as three distinct phases.

New kinds of organic compounds, the ingredients of amino acids, have been detected in the plumes bursting from Saturn's moon Enceladus. The findings are the result of the ongoing deep dive into data from NASA's Cassini mission.

Diminutive animals known as tardigrades appear to us as plump, squeezable toys, earning them irresistible nicknames such as "water bears" and "moss piglets."

In situ exploration of the planetary atmospheres requires the development of laboratory experiments to understand the molecular growth pathways initiated by photochemistry in the upper layers of the atmospheres.

Two of TESS's major science goals are to measure masses for 50 planets smaller than 4 Earth radii and to discover high-quality targets for atmospheric characterization efforts.