Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Role of Dynamics on the Habitability of an Earth-like Planet

The Role of Dynamics on the Habitability of an Earth-like Planet

From the numerous detected planets outside the Solar system, no terrestrial planet comparable to our Earth has been discovered so far.

Extrasolar Planets

Rocky Planets in the Habitable Zone of Tight Binary Stars with a Known Gas Giant

Rocky Planets in the Habitable Zone of Tight Binary Stars with a Known Gas Giant

Locating planets in HabitableZones (HZs) around other stars is a growing field in contemporary astronomy.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Hydrodynamic Simulations of Captured Protoatmospheres Around Earth-like Planets

Hydrodynamic Simulations of Captured Protoatmospheres Around Earth-like Planets

Young terrestrial planets, when they are still embedded in a circumstellar disk, accumulate an atmosphere of nebula gas.

Europa

Europa Mission Begins with Selection of Science Instruments

Europa Mission Begins with Selection of Science Instruments

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter's moon Europa, to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

Astrochemistry

Chemistry in Protoplanetary Disks: Gas-phase CO/H2 Ratio and the Carbon Reservoir

Chemistry in Protoplanetary Disks: Gas-phase CO/H2 Ratio and the Carbon Reservoir

The gas mass of protoplanetary disks, and the gas-to-dust ratio, are two key elements driving the evolution of these disks and the formation of planetary system.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge.

Astrochemistry

Meteoritic Abundances of Nucleobases and Potential Reaction Pathways

Meteoritic Abundances of Nucleobases and Potential Reaction Pathways

Carbonaceous chondrites are a class of meteorite known for having a high content of water and organics.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Magma Oceans with a Steam Atmosphere: Detectability by Future Direct Imaging

Magma Oceans with a Steam Atmosphere: Detectability by Future Direct Imaging

We present the thermal evolution and emergent spectra of solidifying terrestrial planets along with the formation of steam atmospheres.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

The Snow Line - Water Delivery to Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone

The Snow Line - Water Delivery to Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone

The water ice or snow line is one of the key properties of protoplanetary disks that determines the water content of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone.

Extrasolar Planets

The Bulk Composition of Exo-planets

The Bulk Composition of Exo-planets

Priorities in exo-planet research are rapidly moving from finding planets to characterizing their physical properties. Of key importance is their chemical composition, which feeds back into our understanding of planet formation.

comets

Comet Wild 2: A Window Into the Birth of the Solar System?

Comet Wild 2: A Window Into the Birth of the Solar System?

Our solar system, and other planetary systems, started as a disk of microscopic dust, gas, and ice around the young Sun. The amazing diversity of objects in the solar system today - the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets - was made from this primitive dust.

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