Extrasolar Planets

Tau Ceti: The Next Earth? Probably Not

Tau Ceti: The Next Earth? Probably Not

As the search continues for Earth-size planets orbiting at just the right distance from their star, a region termed the habitable zone, the number of potentially life-supporting planets grows.

Extrasolar Planets

NASA GISS to Help Lead Search For Habitable Exoplanets

NASA GISS to Help Lead Search For Habitable Exoplanets

NASA announced this week the creation of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science network that will study planets beyond our solar system for habitability and other features tapping the expertise of researchers at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies , Goddard Space Flight Center and other locations.

SETI

Search for Advanced Civilizations Finds Nothing Obvious

Search for Advanced Civilizations Finds Nothing Obvious

After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them.

Extrasolar Planets

A Catalog of Stellar Evolution Profiles and the Effects of Variable Composition on Habitable Systems

A Catalog of Stellar Evolution Profiles and the Effects of Variable Composition on Habitable Systems

We present stellar evolution models for 0.5 - 1.2 \Msol at scaled metallicities of 0.1 - 1.5 Z\sol and O/Fe values of 0.44 - 2.28 O/Fe\sol.

Extrasolar Planets

3D Climate Modeling of Earth-like Extrasolar Planets Orbiting Different Types of Host Stars

3D Climate Modeling of Earth-like Extrasolar Planets Orbiting Different Types of Host Stars

The potential habitability of a terrestrial planet is usually defined by the possible existence of liquid water on its surface.

Extrasolar Planets

Water Ice Lines and Mars-mass Exomoons Around Accreting Super-Jovian Planets

Water Ice Lines and Mars-mass Exomoons Around Accreting Super-Jovian Planets

Exomoon detections might be feasible with NASA's Kepler or ESA's upcoming PLATO mission or the ground-based E-ELT. To use observational resources most efficiently we need to know where the largest, most easily detected moons can form.

Oceanic Research

Our Ocean's Cosmic Origin

Our Ocean's Cosmic Origin

A new study published in Science looks beyond the question of whether Earth's oceans can be traced to comets or other objects from space, and instead asks the question: where did the water in comets come from?

Astrochemistry

Complex Organic Molecules Discovered in Infant Star System

Complex Organic Molecules Discovered in Infant Star System

For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star, indicating that the conditions that spawned our Earth and Sun are not unique in the universe.

Astrobiology (journal)

Our Solar System and Beyond is Awash in Water

Our Solar System and Beyond is Awash in Water

As NASA missions explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways.

Biochemistry

New Study Hints at Spontaneous Appearance of Primordial DNA

New Study Hints at Spontaneous Appearance of Primordial DNA

The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Milan.

Astrobiology (general)

Institute for Pale Blue Dots Inauguration Scheduled for 9 May

Institute for Pale Blue Dots Inauguration Scheduled for 9 May

Learn about planets beyond our solar system, far-flung missions and possible life in the cosmos at "(un)Discovered Worlds," a one-day Cornell University space sciences conference, May 9, to inaugurate the new Institute for Pale Blue Dots.

More top stories from April.