Extrasolar Planets

Ground-based optical transmission spectroscopy of the small, rocky exoplanet GJ 1132b

Ground-based optical transmission spectroscopy of the small, rocky exoplanet GJ 1132b

Terrestrial Solar System planets either have high mean molecular weight atmospheres, as with Venus, Mars, and Earth, or no atmosphere at all, as with Mercury.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Organic Chemistry In A CO2 Rich Early Earth Atmosphere

Organic Chemistry In A CO2 Rich Early Earth Atmosphere

The emergence of life on the Earth has required a prior organic chemistry leading to the formation of prebiotic molecules. The origin and the evolution of the organic matter on the early Earth is not yet firmly understood.

Mars

Using Dorset UK as Model to Help Find Traces of Life on Mars

Using Dorset UK as Model to Help Find Traces of Life on Mars

By studying a stream on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look.

Origin & Evolution of Life

How Primordial Life On Earth Might Have Replicated Itself

How Primordial Life On Earth Might Have Replicated Itself

Scientists have created a new type of genetic replication system which demonstrates how the first life on Earth - in the form of RNA - could have replicated itself.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Orbital Variations Can Trigger Snowball States In Habitable Zones Around Sunlike Stars

Orbital Variations Can Trigger Snowball States In Habitable Zones Around Sunlike Stars

Aspects of an otherwise Earthlike planet's tilt and orbital dynamics can severely affect its potential habitability -- even triggering abrupt "snowball states" where oceans freeze and surface life is impossible, according to new research from astronomers at the University of Washington.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Using Deep Space Climate Observatory Measurements to Study the Earth as An Exoplanet

Using Deep Space Climate Observatory Measurements to Study the Earth as An Exoplanet

Even though it was not designed as an exoplanetary research mission, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has been opportunistically used for a novel experiment, in which Earth serves as a proxy exoplanet.

Mars

Modeling Martian Atmospheric Losses over Time: Implications for Exoplanetary Climate Evolution and Habitability

Modeling Martian Atmospheric Losses over Time: Implications for Exoplanetary Climate Evolution and Habitability

In this Letter, we make use of sophisticated 3D numerical simulations to assess the extent of atmospheric ion and photochemical losses from Mars over time.

Europa

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter's moon Europa has the ingredients to support life.

Astrobiology (general)

Could A Multiverse Be Hospitable To Life?

Could A Multiverse Be Hospitable To Life?

A Multiverse - where our Universe is only one of many - might not be as inhospitable to life as previously thought, according to new research.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Atmospheric Seasons Could Signal Alien Life

Atmospheric Seasons Could Signal Alien Life

The hunt for life in these places, which are impossible to visit in person, will begin with a search for biological products in their atmospheres.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

A Methane Extension to the Classical Habitable Zone

A Methane Extension to the Classical Habitable Zone

The habitable zone (HZ) is the circumstellar region where standing bodies of liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet. Conventional definitions assume that CO2 and H2O are the only greenhouse gases.

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