Biosignatures & Paleobiology: May 2016

The habitable zone (HZ) describes the range of orbital distances around a star where the existence of liquid water on the surface of an Earth-like planet is in principle possible.

The Earth's albedo, or reflectance, is a fundamental atmospheric parameter having deep implications for temperature and climate change. For that reason, experiments have been performed to monitor it over the past two decades to reveal how it evolves.

Carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (CNO) are key elements in stellar formation and evolution, and their abundances should also have a significant impact on planetary formation and evolution. We present a detailed spectroscopic analysis of 74 solar-type stars, 42 of which are known to harbour planets.

In 1990, Voyager 1 captured the most distant portrait of our planet ever taken, revealing that from beyond Pluto's orbit, Earth appears as nothing more than a "pale blue dot."

Clouds may seem like distant, ephemeral features that have little to do with life on Earth. In fact, they affect everything from the viability of ecosystems, to how much carbon plants absorb, to the reproductive success of reptiles.