Recently in the Astrobiology (general) Category


Dear Astrobiologists, NASA has released a Request for Information (RFI) related to the newly announced "Mission Equity," soliciting input from the public on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Are we alone in the universe? So far, the only life we know of is right here on Earth. But here at NASA, we're looking.   

The Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) is a community-organized conference that provides a forum for reporting on new discoveries, sharing data and insights, advancing collaborative efforts and initiating new ones, planning new projects, and educating the next generation of astrobiologists.

In Kevin Hand's "Alien Oceans: The Search For Life In The Depths Of Space" we learn that Earth is just one example of a myriad ways that a world can have an ocean. And searching for life on other ocean worlds requires a combination of old tools and new approaches to using those tools.

We live on an ocean world with 71% its surface covered by a water. For all of history humans had an intrinsic bias that all inhabited worlds would have large oceans - since we do. Indeed, the large flat plains of our Moon still bear names of imaginary seas based on that bias and early telescopes. That said we held to the notion that life would arise on a world if only it had Earth's basic characteristics - one of which was large bodies of water. Well, we now know that there is more than one way to have a planet with lots of liquid water.

The huge forces generated by the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories are being used to replicate the gravitational pressures on so-called "super-Earths" to determine which might maintain atmospheres that could support life.

The capacity to sense gradients efficiently and acquire information about the ambient environment confers many advantages like facilitating movement toward nutrient sources or away from toxic chemicals.

Keith's note: I have known John Rummel for 35 years. I first worked with him at the old Life Science Division at NASA Headquarters. He has made an indelible mark on NASA's search for life in the universe. Please consider making a donation to help out John and his family in this time of need.

Researchers have found that rocky exoplanets which formed early in the life of the galaxy seem to have had a greater chance of developing a magnetic field and plate tectonics than planets which formed later.

Humans have been wondering whether we alone in the universe since antiquity.

Giant elliptical galaxies are not as likely as previously thought to be cradles of technological civilizations such as our own, according to a recent paper by a University of Arkansas astrophysicist.