Origin & Evolution of Life

Ammonium Fertilized Early Life On Earth

Ammonium Fertilized Early Life On Earth

A team of international scientists--including researchers at the University of St. Andrews, Syracuse University and Royal Holloway, University of London--have demonstrated a new source of food for early life on the planet.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Formation Of The Moon Brought Water To Earth

Formation Of The Moon Brought Water To Earth

The Earth is unique in our solar system: It is the only terrestrial planet with a large amount of water and a relatively large moon, which stabilizes the Earth's axis.

Astrochemistry

Deuterated Forms of H+3 and Their Importance in Astrochemistry

Deuterated Forms of H+3 and Their Importance in Astrochemistry

At the low temperatures (∼10 K) and high densities (∼100,000 H2 molecules per cc) of molecular cloud cores and protostellar envelopes, a large amount of molecular species (in particular those containing C and O) freeze-out onto dust grain surfaces.

Astronomy

High Definition Astrometry

High Definition Astrometry

High Definition Astrometry (0.1 - 1.0 micro-arcseconds) will open a new window into neighboring planetary systems. For the first time, the realm of temperate terrestrial worlds will be explored.

Astrochemistry

Synthesis Of Complex Organic Molecules in Soft x-ray Irradiated Ices

Synthesis Of Complex Organic Molecules in Soft x-ray Irradiated Ices

We study the chemical evolution of H2O:CO:NH3 ice mixtures irradiated with soft X-rays, in the range 250-1250 eV. We identify many nitrogen-bearing molecules such as e.g., OCN-, NH4+ , HNCO, CH3CN, HCONH2, and NH2COCONH2.

Astrochemistry

Vacuum Ultraviolet Photodesorption and Photofragmentation of Formaldehyde-containing Ices

Vacuum Ultraviolet Photodesorption and Photofragmentation of Formaldehyde-containing Ices

Non-thermal desorption from icy grains containing H2CO has been invoked to explain the observed H2CO gas phase abundances in ProtoPlanetary Disks (PPDs) and Photon Dominated Regions (PDRs).

TRAPPIST-1

The Detectability and Characterization of the TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

The Detectability and Characterization of the TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will offer the first opportunity to characterize terrestrial exoplanets with sufficient precision to identify high mean molecular weight atmospheres, and TRAPPIST-1's seven known transiting Earth-sized planets are particularly favorable targets.

Proxima Centauri b

Temporal Changes Of The Flare Activity Of Proxima Cen

Temporal Changes Of The Flare Activity Of Proxima Cen

We study temporal variations of the emission lines of Halpha, Hepsilon, H and K Ca II, D1 and D2 Na I, 4026 and 5876 A He I in the HARPS spectra of Proxima Centauri across an extended time of 13.2 years, from May 27, 2004, to September 30, 2017.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Need for Laboratory Measurements and Ab Initio Studies to Aid Understanding of Exoplanetary Atmospheres

The Need for Laboratory Measurements and Ab Initio Studies to Aid Understanding of Exoplanetary Atmospheres

We are now on a clear trajectory for improvements in exoplanet observations that will revolutionize our ability to characterize their atmospheric structure, composition, and circulation, from gas giants to rocky planets.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Optimizing Ground-based Observations of O2 in Earth Analogs

Optimizing Ground-based Observations of O2 in Earth Analogs

We present the result of calculations to optimize the search for molecular oxygen (O2) in Earth analogs transiting around nearby, low-mass stars using ground-based, high-resolution, Doppler shift techniques.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Pressure and Temperature Limits of Likely Rocky Exoplanets

The Pressure and Temperature Limits of Likely Rocky Exoplanets

The interior composition of exoplanets is not observable, limiting our direct knowledge of their structure, composition, and dynamics.

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