Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Life Beyond the Solar System: Remotely Detectable Biosignatures

Life Beyond the Solar System: Remotely Detectable Biosignatures

For the first time in human history, we will soon be able to apply the scientific method to the question "Are We Alone?" The rapid advance of exoplanet discovery, planetary systems science, and telescope technology will soon allow scientists to search for life beyond our Solar System through direct observation of extrasolar planets.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Dependence of Onset of Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-like Planets

Dependence of Onset of Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-like Planets

Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

A Procedure For Observing Rocky Exoplanets to Maximize the Likelihood That Atmospheric Oxygen Will Be A Biosignature

A Procedure For Observing Rocky Exoplanets to Maximize the Likelihood That Atmospheric Oxygen Will Be A Biosignature

Here we advocate an observational strategy to help prioritize exoplanet observations.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Biomarkers Helped Solving The Mystery of 500-million-year-old Macroorganisms

Biomarkers Helped Solving The Mystery of 500-million-year-old Macroorganisms

A postgraduate student of the Faculty of Geology of MSU, working with an international scientific group, participated in chemical analysis of biomarkers -- compounds that remained after the decomposition of organic remains of the genus Beltanelliformis.

Astrochemistry

Detection of the Aromatic Molecule Benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN) in the Interstellar Medium

Detection of the Aromatic Molecule Benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN) in the Interstellar Medium

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles are thought to be widespread throughout the Universe, because these classes of molecules are probably responsible for the unidentified infrared bands, a set of emission features seen in numerous Galactic and extragalactic sources.

Astrogeology

Finding Mountains With Molehills: The Detectability of Exotopography

Finding Mountains With Molehills: The Detectability of Exotopography

Mountain ranges, volcanoes, trenches, and craters are common on rocky bodies throughout the Solar System, and we might we expect the same for rocky exoplanets.

Alpha Centauri

Long-Term Stability of Tightly Packed Multi-Planet Systems in Prograde, Coplanar, Circumstellar Orbits within the α Centauri AB System

Long-Term Stability of Tightly Packed Multi-Planet Systems in Prograde, Coplanar, Circumstellar Orbits within the α Centauri AB System

We perform long-term simulations, up to ten billion years, of closely-spaced configurations of 2 -- 6 planets, each as massive as the Earth, traveling on nested orbits about either stellar component in alpha Centauri AB.

Astrogeology

The Delivery of Water During Terrestrial Planet Formation

The Delivery of Water During Terrestrial Planet Formation

The planetary building blocks that formed in the terrestrial planet region were likely very dry, yet water is comparatively abundant on Earth. We review the various mechanisms proposed for the origin of water on the terrestrial planets.

Mars

New Technique For Finding Life on Mars

New Technique For Finding Life on Mars

Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets

Space Weather

The Propitious Role of Solar Energetic Particles in the Origin of Life

The Propitious Role of Solar Energetic Particles in the Origin of Life

We carry out 3-D numerical simulations to assess the penetration and bombardment effects of Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs), i.e. high-energy particle bursts during large flares and superflares, on ancient and current Mars.

Titan

Cassini Finds Titan Has A Sea Level Like Earth Does

Cassini Finds Titan Has A Sea Level Like Earth Does

Saturn's moon Titan may be nearly a billion miles away from Earth, but a recently published paper based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals a new way this distant world and our own are eerily similar.

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