Extinction events

Mini-Neptunes Might Host Life Under Right Conditions

Mini-Neptunes Might Host Life Under Right Conditions

Researchers with the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team at the University of Washington have described how mini-Neptune planets could become viable for life around M-Dwarf stars.

Climate

Snowball Earth Might Be Slushy

Snowball Earth Might Be Slushy

Imagine a world without liquid water just solid ice in all directions. It would certainly not be a place that most life forms would like to live.

Extrasolar Planets

ExTrA: Exoplanets in Transit and their Atmospheres

ExTrA: Exoplanets in Transit and their Atmospheres

The ExTrA facility, located at La Silla observatory, will consist of a near-infrared multi-object spectrograph fed by three 60-cm telescopes.

Astrobiology (general)

Interstellar Seeds Could Create Oases of Life

Interstellar Seeds Could Create Oases of Life

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars.

Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Earth's Extremes Point The Way to Extraterrestrial Life

Earth's Extremes Point The Way to Extraterrestrial Life

Bizarre creatures that go years without water. Others that can survive the vacuum of open space.

Mars

Drilling for Data: Simulating the Search for Life on Mars

Drilling for Data: Simulating the Search for Life on Mars

Toiling in barren rock fields in southern Spain under temperatures as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit, a team from NASA's Ames Research Center, Honeybee Robotics, and Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB, INTA-CSIC) is changing dirt into data in a way that could one day be replicated on Mars.

comets

Organics Sniffed Out on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Organics Sniffed Out on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

While the Rosetta spacecraft orbits the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, the Philae lander, deployed from Rosetta on November 2014, has gathered data on the surface of the comet that indicate the potential existence of prebiotic organics during the early solar system.

SETI

Observational Signatures of Self-Destructive Civilizations

Observational Signatures of Self-Destructive Civilizations

We address the possibility that intelligent civilisations that destroy themselves could present signatures observable by humanity.

Astrochemistry

Meteorite Impacts Can Create DNA Building Blocks

Meteorite Impacts Can Create DNA Building Blocks

A new study shown that meteorite impacts on ancient oceans may have created nucleobases and amino acids.

SETI

SETI via Leakage from Light Sails in Exoplanetary Systems

SETI via Leakage from Light Sails in Exoplanetary Systems

The primary challenge of rocket propulsion is the burden of needing to accelerate the spacecraft's own fuel, resulting in only a logarithmic gain in maximum speed as propellant is added to the spacecraft.

Astrochemistry

Reactivity and Survivability of Glycolaldehyde in Simulated Meteorite Impact Experiments

Reactivity and Survivability of Glycolaldehyde in Simulated Meteorite Impact Experiments

Sugars of extraterrestrial origin have been observed in the interstellar medium (ISM), in at least one comet spectrum, and in several carbonaceous chondritic meteorites that have been recovered from the surface of the Earth.

More top stories from August.