Extrasolar Planets

Geothermal Heating Enhances Atmospheric Asymmetries on Synchronously Rotating Planets

Geothermal Heating Enhances Atmospheric Asymmetries on Synchronously Rotating Planets

Earth-like planets within the liquid water habitable zone of M type stars may evolve into synchronous rotators.

Extrasolar Planets

Hubble Search for a Sub-Earth-Sized Exoplanet in the GJ 436 System

Hubble Search for a Sub-Earth-Sized Exoplanet in the GJ 436 System

The detection of small planets orbiting nearby stars is an important step towards the identification of Earth twins.

Societal Issues

Are the World's Religions Ready for E.T.?

Are the World's Religions Ready for E.T.? Video in Story

In 1930, Albert Einstein was asked for his opinion about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. "Other beings, perhaps, but not men," he answered. Then he was asked whether science and religion conflict. "Not really, though it depends, of course, on your religious views."

Titan

Titan's Swirling Polar Cloud is Cold and Toxic

Titan's Swirling Polar Cloud is Cold and Toxic

The international Cassini mission has revealed that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere has cooled in a dramatic fashion.

Astrochemistry

The Ancient Heritage of Water Ice in the Solar System

The Ancient Heritage of Water Ice in the Solar System

Identifying the source of Earth's water is central to understanding the origins of life-fostering environments and to assessing the prevalence of such environments in space.

Extrasolar Planets

Transmission Spectral Properties of Clouds for Hot Jupiter Exoplanets

Transmission Spectral Properties of Clouds for Hot Jupiter Exoplanets

Clouds have an important role in the atmospheres of planetary bodies. It is expected that, like all the planetary bodies in our solar system, exoplanet atmospheres will also have substantial cloud coverage, and evidence is mounting for clouds in a number of hot Jupiters.

Extrasolar Planets

Highlights in the Study of Exoplanet Atmospheres

Highlights in the Study of Exoplanet Atmospheres

Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. However, to understand their character requires spectral models and data.

Astronomy

Discriminating Between Cloudy, Hazy and Clearsky Exoplanets Using Refraction

Discriminating Between Cloudy, Hazy and Clearsky Exoplanets Using Refraction

We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy and clearsky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space and ground-based telescopes such as JWST and E-ELT.

Extrasolar Planets

Evolution of Exoplanets and their Parent Stars

Evolution of Exoplanets and their Parent Stars

Studying exoplanets with their parent stars is crucial to understand their population, formation and history. We review some of the key questions regarding their evolution with particular emphasis on giant gaseous exoplanets orbiting close to solar-type stars.

Fossils

New Evidence of Ancient Multicellular Life Sets Evolutionary Timeline Back 60 Million Years

New Evidence of Ancient Multicellular Life Sets Evolutionary Timeline Back 60 Million Years

A Virginia Tech geobiologist with collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found evidence in the fossil record that complex multicellularity appeared in living things about 600 million years ago.

Astrochemistry

Detection of Iso-propyl Cyanide in Interstellar Space

Detection of Iso-propyl Cyanide in Interstellar Space

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Cornell University, and the University of Cologne have for the first time detected a carbon-bearing molecule with a "branched" structure in interstellar space.

More top stories from October.