Oceanic Research

Hunting for Alien Life at the Bottom of the Arctic Ocean

Hunting for Alien Life at the Bottom of the Arctic Ocean

A team of oceanographers are heading out on a voyage of discovery this month, exploring in detail for the first time a hydrothermal vent field in the Arctic Ocean.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Mixing RNA and DNA To Study How Life Began

Mixing RNA and DNA To Study How Life Began

For decades, chemists have tested theories for how life began on Earth. One hypothesis has caught the scientific imagination for years: RNA World.

Astrochemistry

Astrochemistry: Discoveries to Inform the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Communities = Proceedings of a Workshop-in Brief

Astrochemistry: Discoveries to Inform the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Communities = Proceedings of a Workshop-in Brief

Throughout much of human history, space was thought to be a void in which only ions or radicals existed. It was only in the last half of the 20th century that scientists began to discover the existence of molecules, such as ammonia, in space.

Extrasolar Planets

Energy Budgets for Terrestrial Extrasolar Planets

Energy Budgets for Terrestrial Extrasolar Planets

The pathways through which incoming energy is distributed between the surface and atmosphere has been analyzed for the Earth. However, the effect of the spectral energy distribution of a host star on the energy budget of an orbiting planet may be significant given the wavelength-dependent absorption properties of atmospheric CO2 and water vapor, and surface ice and snow.

Venus

Predicting The Yield of Potential Venus Analogs From TESS And Their Potential for Atmospheric Characterization

Predicting The Yield of Potential Venus Analogs From TESS And Their Potential for Atmospheric Characterization

The transit method is biased toward short orbital period planets that are interior to their host star's Habitable Zone (HZ).

Extrasolar Planets

An Automated Method to Detect Transiting Circumbinary Planets

An Automated Method to Detect Transiting Circumbinary Planets

To date a dozen transiting "Tatooines" or circumbinary planets (CBPs) have been discovered, by eye, in the data from the Kepler mission; by contrast, thousands of confirmed circumstellar planets orbiting around single stars have been detected using automated algorithms.

Mars

The Composition of Mars

The Composition of Mars

Comparing compositional models of the terrestrial planets provides insights into physicochemical processes that produced planet-scale similarities and differences.

Mars

3D Models Of Mars To Aid Rosalind Franklin Rover In Its Quest For Ancient Life

3D Models Of Mars To Aid Rosalind Franklin Rover In Its Quest For Ancient Life

Scientists at TU Dortmund University have generated high-accuracy 3D models of terrain within the landing ellipse of the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars rover, Rosalind Franklin. The Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) have a resolution of about 25 cm per pixel and will help scientists to understand the geography and geological characteristics of the region and to plan the path of the rover around the site.

SETI

Allen Telescope Array Upgrade Program Funded

Allen Telescope Array Upgrade Program Funded

The SETI Institute announced a new gift by Qualcomm founder Franklin Antonio that funds the first phase of a 3-year initiative to revitalize the Allen Telescope Array (ATA).

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Studying Microbial Mats to Understand Ancient Biosignatures

Studying Microbial Mats to Understand Ancient Biosignatures

A recent study supported in part by the NASA Exobiology Program provides further details about lipid biomarkers in stromatolites. The research focuses on microbial mat communities in ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Geobiology

Rethinking Sulfide in the Ancient Oceans

Rethinking Sulfide in the Ancient Oceans

Researchers supported in part by the Exobiology Program have provided new information about the oxygenation history of the Earth's oceans during the mid-Proterozoic using uranium (U) isotope data.

More top stories from September.