Archives

January 2022


Results from the Kepler mission indicate that the occurrence rate of small planets (<3 R⊕) in the habitable zone of nearby low-mass stars may be as high as 80%. Despite this abundance, probing the conditions and atmospheric properties on any habitable-zone planet is extremely difficult and has remained elusive to date.

Organic molecules found in a meteorite that hurtled to Earth from Mars were synthesized during interactions between water and rocks that occurred on the Red Planet about 4 billion years ago, according to new analysis led by Carnegie's Andrew Steele and published by Science.

For many decades vertical winds have been observed at high altitudes of the Earth's atmosphere, in the mesosphere and thermosphere layers.

Is there life on Venus? For more than a century, scientists have pondered this question. Now, there is renewed interest in Venus as a place that could support living organisms.

Florida State University researchers have new insight into the complicated puzzle of environmental conditions that characterized the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction (LOME), which killed about 85% of the species in the ocean.

After many decades of astonishing developments, advances in semiconductor-based computing are beginning to slow as transistors reach their physical limits in size and speed.

Researchers from the Early Life Traces & Evolution Laboratory (Astrobiology / Faculty of Science) at the University of Liège have discovered the first in-situ evidence of chlorophyll remnants in a billion-year-old multicellular algal microfossil preserved in shales from the Congo Basin.

Studies of future space- and ground-based exoplanet surveys often rely on models of planetary systems to simulate instrument response, estimate scientific yields, perform trade analyses, and study efficient observation strategies.

Transit spectroscopy is a powerful tool to decode the chemical composition of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. In this paper we focus on unsupervised techniques for analyzing spectral data from transiting exoplanets.

This paper describes the Habitable Energy balance model for eXoplaneT ObseRvations (HEXTOR), which is a model for calculating latitudinal temperature profiles on Earth and other rapidly rotating planets.

The chemistry of phosphorus in star- and planet-forming regions is poorly understood, despite the central role of phosphorus in terrestrial biochemistry.

No longer solely in the realm of science fiction, the possibility of interstellar travel has appeared, tantalizingly, on the horizon.

There is more going on in the deep, dark ocean waters than you may think: Uncountable numbers of invisible microorganisms go about their daily lives in the water columns, and now researchers have discovered that some of them produce oxygen in an unexpected way.

The nuclear-spin chemistry of interstellar water is investigated using the University of Grenoble Alpes Astrochemical Network (UGAN). This network includes reactions involving the different nuclear-spin states of the hydrides of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur, as well as their deuterated forms.

Evidence demonstrates a close connection between the fraction of organic matter buried in sediments and changes in supernovae occurrence. This correlation is apparent during the last 3.5 billion years and in closer detail over the previous 500 million years.

Evidence arguing for a "whiff of oxygen" before the Earth's Great Oxygenation Event 2.3 billion years ago are chemical signatures that were probably introduced at a much later time, according to research published in Science Advances.

Europa's leading hemisphere chaos regions have a spectral feature at 450 nm that has been attributed to absorption by crystal defects in irradiated sodium chloride, known as F-centers.

During long portions of the past 2.4 billion years, the Earth may have been more inhospitable to life than scientists previously thought, according to new computer simulations.

The rhythms of activity in all biological organisms, both plants and animals, are closely linked to the gravitational tides created by the orbital mechanics of the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

The previously elusive methanediol molecule of importance to the organic, atmospheric science and astrochemistry communities has been synthetically produced for the first time by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers.

C-complex asteroids, rich in carbonaceous materials, are potential sources of Earth's volatile inventories.

The Breakthrough Listen Initiative, as part of its larger mission, is performing the most thorough technosignature search of nearby stars.

The basic building blocks of RNA could have been delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, or produced in situ by processes beginning with the synthesis of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the early Earth's atmosphere.

Reflected light photometry of terrestrial exoplanets could reveal the presence of oceans and continents, hence placing direct constraints on the current and long-term habitability of these worlds.