Dale Andersen's Field Reports

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 6 December 2019: One Week Left For Science

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 6 December 2019: One Week Left For Science

Last night our weather shifted from sunny skies to low-cloud, light snow and light but gusty winds, our highest gust today being about 30 knots. The forecast is for more of the same so we must be prepared tonight for high winds that could descend upon us at most any time.

NASA Astrobiology Institute

You're Invited to Join The Network for Life Detection (NfoLD)

You're Invited to Join The Network for Life Detection (NfoLD)

The Network for Life Detection (NfoLD) is a NASA Research Coordination Network focused on advancing life detection research by building a strong, diverse, and interactive community of scientists and technologists.

Extrasolar Planets

Retrieving Exoplanet Atmospheric Winds From High-resolution Spectroscopy

Retrieving Exoplanet Atmospheric Winds From High-resolution Spectroscopy

The atmosphere of exoplanets has been studied extensively in recent years, using numerical models to retrieve chemical composition, dynamical circulation or temperature from data.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

O2- and CO-Rich Atmospheres for Potentially Habitable Environments on TRAPPIST-1 Planets

O2- and CO-Rich Atmospheres for Potentially Habitable Environments on TRAPPIST-1 Planets

Small exoplanets of nearby M dwarf stars present the possibility to find and characterize habitable worlds within the next decade. TRAPPIST-1, an ultracool M dwarf star, was recently found to have seven Earth-sized planets of predominantly rocky composition.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Simulated Direct Imaging Detection of Water Vapor For Exo-Earths

Simulated Direct Imaging Detection of Water Vapor For Exo-Earths

Habitable planets are often defined as terrestrial worlds capable of maintaining surface liquid water. As a result, atmospheric water vapor can be a critical indicator of habitability. Thus, habitability-themed exoplanet investigations emphasize detection of water vapor signatures for their targets.

SETI

Searching For A Standard Drake Equation

Searching For A Standard Drake Equation

In the 20th century the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence began, and the Drake equation was proposed to estimate the number of extraterrestrial species humanity could attempt to detect, N.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Signs Of Life: New Field Guide Aids Astronomers' Search

Signs Of Life: New Field Guide Aids Astronomers' Search

A Cornell University senior has come up with a way to discern life on exoplanets loitering in other cosmic neighborhoods: a spectral field guide.

Astrochemistry

Theory Of Chemical Evolution Of Molecule Compositions In The Universe

Theory Of Chemical Evolution Of Molecule Compositions In The Universe

Chemical evolution is essential in understanding the origins of life. We present a theory for the evolution of molecule masses and show that small molecules grow by random diffusion and large molecules by a preferential attachment process leading eventually to life's molecules.

Titan

Studying Titan May Offer Insights About Earth

Studying Titan May Offer Insights About Earth

Scientists studying the weather and climate of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, have reported a significant seasonal variation in its energy budget - that is the amount of solar energy absorbed by the celestial body and the thermal energy it emits.

Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

A Meteorite-loving Microorganism

A Meteorite-loving Microorganism

Chemolithotrophic microorganisms derive their energy from inorganic sources. Research into the physiological processes of these organisms - which are grown on meteorite - provides new insights into the potential of extraterrestrial materials as a source of accessible nutrients and energy for microorganisms of the early Earth.

Astrochemistry

Evidence of Ammonium Salts In Comet 67P As Explanation For The Nitrogen Depletion In Cometary Comae

Evidence of Ammonium Salts In Comet 67P As Explanation For The Nitrogen Depletion In Cometary Comae

Cometary comae are generally depleted in nitrogen. The main carriers for volatile nitrogen in comets are NH3 and HCN. It is known that ammonia readily combines with many acids like e.g. HCN, HNCO, HCOOH, etc. encountered in the interstellar medium as well as in cometary ice to form ammonium salts (NH4+X-) at low temperatures.

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