Astronomy

Characterizing Earth-like Planets Using Spectroscopy and High-Contrast Instruments

Characterizing Earth-like Planets Using Spectroscopy and High-Contrast Instruments

Future radial velocity, astrometric and direct imaging surveys will find nearby Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone (HZ) in the near future. How can we search for water and oxygen in those non-transiting planets?

Extrasolar Planets

Instrumentation for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

Instrumentation for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

In no other field of astrophysics has the impact of new instrumentation been as substantial as in the domain of exoplanets.

Astronomy

Maximizing the ExoEarth Candidate Yield from a Future Direct Imaging Mission

Maximizing the ExoEarth Candidate Yield from a Future Direct Imaging Mission

ExoEarth yield is a critical science metric for future exoplanet imaging missions. Here we estimate exoEarth candidate yield using single visit completeness for a variety of mission design and astrophysical parameters.

Extrasolar Planets

A Hot Super-Neptune With an Earth-sized Low-mass Companion

A Hot Super-Neptune With an Earth-sized Low-mass Companion

We report on the characterization of the Kepler-101 planetary system, thanks to a combined DE-MCMC analysis of Kepler data and forty radial velocities obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph. This system was previously validated by Rowe et al. (2014) and is composed of a hot super-Neptune, Kepler-101b, and an Earth-sized planet, Kepler-101c.

Extrasolar Planets

Optimal Measures for Characterizing Water-rich Super-Earths

Optimal Measures for Characterizing Water-rich Super-Earths

The detection and atmospheric characterization of super-Earths is one of the major frontiers of exoplanetary science. Currently, extensive efforts are underway to detect molecules, particularly H2O, in super-Earth atmospheres.

Genomics and Cell Biology

New Research Sheds Light on Microbial Evolution

New Research Sheds Light on Microbial Evolution

Two Northeastern University researchers and their international colleagues have created an advanced model aimed at exploring the role of neutral evolution in the biogeographic distribution of ocean microbes.

Extrasolar Planets

Water Vapor in the Spectrum of Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b: 2. The eclipse

Water Vapor in the Spectrum of Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b: 2. The eclipse

Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are crucial to infer the composition and properties of their atmospheres. HD 189733b is one of the most extensively studied exoplanets and is a corner stone for hot Jupiter models.

Mars

Martian Meteorite Yields More Evidence of Possibility of Life on Mars

Martian Meteorite Yields More Evidence of Possibility of Life on Mars

The finding of a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Early Earth Less Hellish Than Previously Thought

Early Earth Less Hellish Than Previously Thought

Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates.

NASA Astrobiology Institute

Carl Pilcher Returns to NAI as Interim Director

Carl Pilcher Returns to NAI as Interim Director

The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) welcomes back Dr. Carl B. Pilcher as NAI Interim Director.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

First Evidence for Water Ice Clouds Outside Our Solar System

First Evidence for Water Ice Clouds Outside Our Solar System Video in Story

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System.

More top stories from September.