Geobiology

Microbes Can Create Dripstones

Microbes Can Create Dripstones

According to new research humble, microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. This illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth's geology - and the same may be happening right now on other planets in space.

Fossils

New Home for an Evolutionary Misfit

New Home for an Evolutionary Misfit

One of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever found - a worm-like creature with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail - has found its place in the evolutionary Tree of Life, definitively linking it with a group of modern animals for the first time.

Astrochemistry

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined.

Extrasolar Planets

Debris Disk of Solar Analogue Tau Ceti

Debris Disk of Solar Analogue Tau Ceti

Tau Ceti is a nearby, mature G-type star very similar to our Sun, with a massive Kuiper Belt analogue (Greaves et al. 2004) and possible multiplanet system (Tuomi et al. 2013) that has been compared to our Solar System.

Astrochemistry

First Measurement of the Chemical Fingerprint of the Smallest Aromatic Molecule

First Measurement of the Chemical Fingerprint of the Smallest Aromatic Molecule

A team of astronomers from Leiden University, The Netherlands, measured the chemical fingerprint of the smallest aromatic molecule.

Astrochemistry

Water Vapor Distribution in Protoplanetary Disks

Water Vapor Distribution in Protoplanetary Disks

Water vapor has been detected in protoplanetary disks. In this work we model the distribution of water vapor in protoplanetary disks with a thermo-chemical code.

Astrochemistry

3-D Study of Comets Reveals Chemical Factory at Work

3-D Study of Comets Reveals Chemical Factory at Work Video in Story

A NASA-led team of scientists has created detailed 3-D maps of the atmospheres surrounding comets, identifying several gases and mapping their spread at the highest resolution ever achieved.

Extrasolar Planets

Using Radio Waves to Detect Exomoons

Using Radio Waves to Detect Exomoons

Scientists hunting for life beyond Earth have discovered more than 1,800 planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, in recent years, but so far, no one has been able to confirm an exomoon.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies

Infrared Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies

We describe the framework and strategy of the \^G infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies, which will use the wide-field infrared surveys of WISE and Spitzer to search for these civilizations' waste heat.

Extrasolar Planets

Terrestrial Planet Formation in the Presence of Migrating Super-earths

Terrestrial Planet Formation in the Presence of Migrating Super-earths

Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations.

Fossils

How Some of Earth's Earliest Animals Lived and Died

How Some of Earth's Earliest Animals Lived and Died Video in Story

New three-dimensional reconstructions show how some of the earliest animals on Earth developed, and provide some answers as to why they went extinct.

More top stories from August.