Extrasolar Planets

Implications of Tides for Life on Exoplanets

Implications of Tides for Life on Exoplanets

As evident from the nearby examples of Proxima Centauri and TRAPPIST-1, Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars are common. Here, we focus on such planetary systems and argue that their (oceanic) tides could be more prominent due to stronger tidal forces.

Europa

Pebble Accretion at the Origin of Water in Europa

Pebble Accretion at the Origin of Water in Europa

Despite the fact that the observed gradient in water content among the Galilean satellites is globally consistent with a formation in a circum-Jovian disk on both sides of the snowline, the mechanisms that led to a low water mass fraction in Europa (∼8%) are not yet understood.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Did Life Begin On Land Rather Than In The Sea?

Did Life Begin On Land Rather Than In The Sea?

A paradigm-shifting hypothesis laid out by UC Santa Cruz astrobiologists David Deamer and Bruce Damer could reshape our idea about the origin of life

Astrobiology (general)

The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events

The Resilience of Life to Astrophysical Events

Much attention has been given in the literature to the effects of astrophysical events on human and land-based life. However, little has been discussed on the resilience of life itself.

Oceanic Research

Fossil Site Shows Impact of Early Jurassic's Low Oxygen Oceans

Fossil Site Shows Impact of Early Jurassic's Low Oxygen Oceans

Using a combination of fossils and chemical markers, scientists have tracked how a period of globally low ocean-oxygen turned an Early Jurassic marine ecosystem into a stressed community inhabited by only a few species.

Fossils

Prior Indigenous Technological Species

Prior Indigenous Technological Species

One of the primary open questions of astrobiology is whether there is extant or extinct life elsewhere the Solar System.

Fossils

Ancient Plankton-like Microfossils Span Two Continents

Ancient Plankton-like Microfossils Span Two Continents

Large, robust, lens-shaped microfossils from the approximately 3.4 billion-year-old Kromberg Formation of the Kaapvaal Craton in eastern South Africa are not only among the oldest elaborate microorganisms known.

Astronomy

A New Search for Extrasolar Planets Around Barnard's Star

A New Search for Extrasolar Planets Around Barnard's Star

The National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory and the Planetary Habitability Laboratory of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo joined the Red Dots project in the search for new planets around our nearest stars.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

There's More To Life Than The Habitable Zone

There's More To Life Than The Habitable Zone

Two separate teams of scientists have identified major challenges for the development of life in what has recently become one of the most famous exoplanet systems, TRAPPIST-1.

SETI

Exoplanet Transits as the Foundation of an Interstellar Communications Network

Exoplanet Transits as the Foundation of an Interstellar Communications Network

Two fundamental problems for extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) attempting to establish interstellar communication are timing and energy consumption.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Physical Constraints on the Likelihood of Life on Exoplanets

Physical Constraints on the Likelihood of Life on Exoplanets

One of the most fundamental questions in exoplanetology is to determine whether a given planet is habitable.

More top stories from July.