Astrobiology (general)

Plans for European Astrobiology Institute Announced

Plans for European Astrobiology Institute Announced

Astrobiology, the study of the origin, evolution and future of life on Earth and beyond, is a multidisciplinary field that has expanded rapidly over the last two decades.

Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Candy-Pink Lagoon Serves Up Salt-Rich Diet for Potential Life on Mars

Candy-Pink Lagoon Serves Up Salt-Rich Diet for Potential Life on Mars

The discovery of a microorganism that gives a candy-pink lagoon in central Spain its startling colour is providing new evidence for how life could survive on a high-salt diet on Mars or Europa.

TRAPPIST-1

Evolved Climates and Observational Discriminants for the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System

Evolved Climates and Observational Discriminants for the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System

The TRAPPIST-1 planetary system provides an unprecedented opportunity to study terrestrial exoplanet evolution with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and ground-based observatories.

Astrochemistry

Exploring the Origins of Earth's Nitrogen: Astronomical Observations of Nitrogen-bearing Organics in Protostellar Environments

Exploring the Origins of Earth's Nitrogen: Astronomical Observations of Nitrogen-bearing Organics in Protostellar Environments

It is not known whether the original carriers of Earth's nitrogen were molecular ices or refractory dust.

Planetary Protection

Report: Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes

Report: Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes

Protecting Earth's environment and other solar system bodies from harmful contamination has been an important principle throughout the history of space exploration. For decades, the scientific, political, and economic conditions of space exploration converged in ways that contributed to effective development and implementation of planetary protection policies at national and international levels.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

What Recipes Produce a Habitable Planet?

What Recipes Produce a Habitable Planet?

NASA's interdisciplinary Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) project has awarded Rice University $7.7 million for a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research program aimed at finding many different recipes nature might follow to produce rocky planets capable of supporting life.

Astrochemistry

Water in Small Dust Grains Can Explain Large Amounts of Water on Earth

Water in Small Dust Grains Can Explain Large Amounts of Water on Earth

Water trapped in dust grains from which the Earth formed can explain the current large amount of water on Earth.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Modeling the albedo of Earth-like magma ocean planets with H2O-CO2 atmosphere

Modeling the albedo of Earth-like magma ocean planets with H2O-CO2 atmosphere

During accretion, the young rocky planets are so hot that they become endowed with a magma ocean. From that moment, the mantle convective thermal flux control the cooling of the planet and an atmosphere is created by outgassing.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Idealized Wind-driven Ocean Circulations On Exoplanets

Idealized Wind-driven Ocean Circulations On Exoplanets

Motivated by the important role of the ocean in the Earth climate system, here we investigate possible scenarios of ocean circulations on exoplanets using a one-layer shallow water ocean model.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Differences in water vapor radiative transfer among 1D models can significantly affect the inner edge of the habitable zone

Differences in water vapor radiative transfer among 1D models can significantly affect the inner edge of the habitable zone

An accurate estimate of the inner edge of the habitable zone is critical for determining which exoplanets are potentially habitable and for designing future telescopes to observe them.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Direct Imaging in Reflected Light: Characterization of Older, Temperate Exoplanets With 30-m Telescopes

Direct Imaging in Reflected Light: Characterization of Older, Temperate Exoplanets With 30-m Telescopes

Direct detection, also known as direct imaging, is a method for discovering and characterizing the atmospheres of planets at intermediate and wide separations.

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