Mars

Ancient Mars Was Warm with Occasional Rain, Turning Cold

Ancient Mars Was Warm with Occasional Rain, Turning Cold

Scientists have long known that water was abundant on ancient Mars, but there has been no consensus on whether liquid water was common, or whether it was largely frozen in ice.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Search for Living Worlds and the Connection to Our Cosmic Origins

The Search for Living Worlds and the Connection to Our Cosmic Origins

One of the most exciting scientific challenges is to detect Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of other stars in the galaxy and search for evidence of life.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Habitability of Galaxies and Application of Merger Trees in Astrobiology

Habitability of Galaxies and Application of Merger Trees in Astrobiology

Galaxies represent the main form of organization of matter in our universe. Therefore, they are of obvious interest for the new multidisciplinary field of astrobiology.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Inner Edge of Habitable Zones for Earth-sized Planets with Various Surface Water Distributions

Inner Edge of Habitable Zones for Earth-sized Planets with Various Surface Water Distributions

When planets receive insolation above a certain critical value called the runaway threshold, liquid surface water vaporizes completely, which forms the inner edge of the habitable zone.

Extrasolar Planets

How Many Earth-like Planets Are Around Sun-like Stars?

How Many Earth-like Planets Are Around Sun-like Stars?

A new study provides the most accurate estimate of the frequency that planets that are similar to Earth in size and in distance from their host star occur around stars similar to our Sun.

Astrochemistry

Key Phosphorus-based Molecule For Life On Earth May Have Come From Space

Key Phosphorus-based Molecule For Life On Earth May Have Come From Space

The answer to "How did the first organisms on Earth incorporate the critical element phosphorus?" has been a quandary for researchers, but, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa physical chemists believe a meteoric visitor could be the critical link.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Earth As An Exoplanet: A Two-dimensional Alien Map

Earth As An Exoplanet: A Two-dimensional Alien Map

Resolving spatially-varying exoplanet features from single-point light curves is essential for determining whether Earth-like worlds harbor geological features and/or climate systems that influence habitability.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Fluorescent Glow May Reveal Hidden Life In The Cosmos

Fluorescent Glow May Reveal Hidden Life In The Cosmos

Astronomers have uncovered a new way of searching for life in the cosmos. Harsh ultraviolet radiation flares from red suns, once thought to destroy surface life on planets, might help uncover hidden biospheres. Their radiation could trigger a protective glow from life on exoplanets called biofluorescence, according to new Cornell University research.

Extrasolar Planets

Red Dots: A Temperate 1.5 Earth-mass Planet In A Compact Multi-terrestrial Planet System Around GJ1061

Red Dots: A Temperate 1.5 Earth-mass Planet In A Compact Multi-terrestrial Planet System Around GJ1061

Small low-mass stars are favourable targets for the detection of rocky habitable planets. In particular, planetary systems in the solar neighbourhood are interesting and suitable for precise characterisation. The Red Dots campaigns seek to discover rocky planets orbiting nearby low-mass stars.

TRAPPIST-1

James Webb Space Telescope Will Study TRAPPIST-1 Planet Atmospheres

James Webb Space Telescope Will Study TRAPPIST-1 Planet Atmospheres

The study, led by Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, a UW doctoral student in astronomy, finds that the James Webb telescope, set to launch in 2021, might be able to learn key information about the atmospheres of the TRAPPIST-1 worlds even in its first year of operation, unless -- as an old song goes -- clouds get in the way.

Astrochemistry

The Photolysis of Aromatic Hydrocarbons Adsorbed on the Surfaces of Cosmic Dust Grains

The Photolysis of Aromatic Hydrocarbons Adsorbed on the Surfaces of Cosmic Dust Grains

The work is devoted to the adaptation of the results of laboratory studies of the laser-induced dissociation of molecules of benzene adsorbed on a quartz substrate to the conditions of the interstellar medium.

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