Archives

May 2022


Nearly half of Sun-size stars are binary. According to University of Copenhagen research, planetary systems around binary stars may be very different from those around single stars. This points to new targets in the search for extraterrestrial life forms.

An international team of scientists from UCL (University College London), the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Natural History Museum (London) and the University of Florence have found a remarkable type of fossilisation that has remained almost entirely overlooked until now.

The geologically active south pole of Enceladus generates a plume of micron-sized particles, which likely form Saturn's tenuous E-ring extending from the orbit of Mimas to Titan.

Advances in high-precision spectrographs have paved the way for the search for an Earth analogue orbiting a Sun-like star within its habitable zone.

The chemical evolution of an exoplanetary Venus-like atmosphere is dependent upon the ultraviolet to near ultraviolet (FUV-NUV) radiation ratio from the parent star, the balance between CO2 photolysis and recombination via reactions that depend on the water abundance, and various catalytic chemical cycles.

While beta Pic is known to host silicates in ring-like structures, whether the properties of these silicate dust vary with stellocentric distance remains an open question.

We present Pandora, a new software to model, detect, and characterize transits of extrasolar planets with moons in stellar photometric time series.

We simulate the space environment around AU Microscopii b and the interaction between the magnetized stellar wind with a planetary atmospheric outflow for ambient stellar wind conditions and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) conditions.

Primary fluid inclusions in bedded halite from the 830-m.y.-old Browne Formation of
central Australia contain organic solids and liquids, as documented with transmitted light and ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) petrography.

The ultimate goal of astrobiology is to determine the distribution and diversity of life in the universe. But as the word "biosignature" suggests, what will be detected is not life itself, but an observation implicating a particular process associated with living systems.

Motivated by the recent discovery of interstellar objects passing through the solar system, and by recent developments in dynamical simulations, this paper reconsiders the likelihood for life bearing rocks to be transferred from one planetary system to another.

New chemistry 'forensics' indicate that the stone named Hypatia from the Egyptian desert could be the first tangible evidence found on Earth of a supernova type Ia explosion. These rare supernovas are some of the most energetic events in the universe.

The search for signs of life on other worlds has largely focused on terrestrial planets. Recent work, however, argues that life could exist in the atmospheres of temperate sub-Neptunes.

Recent dynamical studies indicate that the possibility of an Earth-like planet around αCen A or B should be taken seriously.

The influence of atmospheric composition on the climates of present-day and early Earth has been studied extensively, but the role of ocean composition has received less attention.

A research team led by Lund University in Sweden has investigated a meteorite from Mars using neutron and X-ray tomography. The technology, which will probably be used when NASA examines samples from the Red Planet in 2030, showed that the meteorite had limited exposure to water, thus making life at that specific time and place unlikely.

In the early days of the space age, the Apollo astronauts took part in a visionary plan: Bring samples of the lunar surface material, known as regolith, back to Earth where they could be studied with state-of-the-art equipment and saved for future research not yet imagined.

Direct imaging and spectroscopy is the likely means by which we will someday identify, confirm, and characterize an Earth-like planet around a nearby Sun-like star.

e Eridani, the fifth-closest Sun-like star, hosts at least three planets and could possibly harbor more. However, the veracity of the planet candidates in the system and its full planetary architecture remain unknown.

With the help of the world's most powerful supercomputer and new artificial intelligence techniques, an international team of researchers has theorized how the extreme conditions in stars produce carbon-12, which they describe as "a critical gateway to the birth of life."

The Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES) mission is proposed to discover habitable-zone Earth-like planets of the nearby solar-type stars (~10pc away from our solar system) via micro-arcsecond relative astrometry.

Numerical simulations of starlight that is reflected by Earth-like exoplanets predict habitability signatures that can be searched for with future telescopes. We explore signatures of water oceans in the flux and polarization spectra of this reflected light.

Lake Untersee located in Eastern Antarctica, is a perennially ice-covered lake. At the bottom of its southern basin lies 20 m of anoxic, methane rich, stratified water, making it a good analog for Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

The ESA Ariel mission has been adopted for launch in 2029 and will conduct a survey of around one thousand exoplanetary atmospheres during its primary mission life.

We investigated the impact of selected cloud condensates in exoplanetary atmospheres on the polarization of scattered stellar radiation. We considered a selection of 25 cloud condensates that are expected to be present in extrasolar planetary atmospheres.

As the powerhouse of our solar system, the Sun's electromagnetic planetary influences appear contradictory. On the one hand, the Sun for aeons emitted radiation which was "just right" for life to evolve in our terrestrial Goldilocks zone, even for such complex organisms as ourselves.

The molecules of life, DNA, replicate with astounding precision, yet this process is not immune to mistakes and can lead to mutations. Using sophisticated computer modelling, a team of physicists and chemists at the University of Surrey have shown that such errors in copying can arise due to the strange rules of the quantum world.

What will happen in the near future as global warming continues?

Planetary obliquity is a first order control on planetary climate and seasonal contrast, which has a number of cascading consequences for life.

We present a study of the relationship between galactic kinematics, flare rates, chromospheric magnetic activity, and rotation periods for a volume-complete, nearly all-sky sample of 219 single stars within 15 parsecs and with masses between 0.1−0.3 M⊙ observed during the primary mission of TESS.

The architecture of a planetary system can influence the habitability of a planet via orbital effects, particularly in the areas of stability and eccentricity.

Since its first identification on the surface of Ganymede in 1995, molecular oxygen (O2) ice has been at the center of a scientific debate as the surface temperature of the Jovian moon is on average well above the freezing point of O2.

Researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley have conducted experiments that measured the physical limits for the existence of liquid water in icy extraterrestrial worlds.

Most amino acids and sugars molecules occur in mirror, or chiral, images of each other, knowns as enantiomers. However, life on Earth is mostly homochiral: proteins contain almost exclusively L-amino acids, while only D-sugars appear in RNA and DNA.

Water worlds have been hypothesized as an alternative to photo-evaporation in order to explain the gap in the radius distribution of Kepler exoplanets.

This invited review for young researchers presents key ideas on cloud formation as key part for virtual laboratories for exoplanet atmospheres.

The hydrogen emission from meteors is assumed to originate mainly from the meteoroid composition, making it a potential tracer of H2O molecules and organic compounds.

How might an advanced alien civilization manipulate the orbits within a planetary system to create a durable signpost that communicates its existence?

Future direct imaging missions such as HabEx and LUVOIR aim to catalog and characterize Earth-mass analogs around nearby stars.

A space telescope capable of high-contrast imaging has been recognized as the avenue toward finding terrestrial planets around nearby Sun-like stars and characterizing their potential habitability.

Constraining planet formation based on the atmospheric composition of exoplanets is a fundamental goal of the exoplanet community. Existing studies commonly try to constrain atmospheric abundances, or to analyze what abundance patterns a given description of planet formation predicts.