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Latest Astrobiology Stories

How Many Habitable Exoplanets Exist
2013-11-26 13:17:30

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In the last decade, exoplanet scientists have been finding new worlds at a brisk pace. But as the number of planetary bodies in our galaxy rises, questions about how many of these may, in fact, be habitable have been reaching a crescendo. The debate centers on the criteria for what it takes for a planet to be considered habitable. It seems the presence of liquid water on the surface is necessary, though some researchers are now...

Curiosity Returns To Normal Voltage Levels, Resumes Regular Duties
2013-11-26 11:16:42

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After spending nearly a week trying to diagnose why NASA’s Curiosity rover experienced a “soft short,” engineers gave the all clear for the Martian vehicle to resume duties on November 23. NASA said the decision to resume scientific activities resulted from successful work by engineers in diagnosing the likely cause of the Nov. 17 change in voltage Curiosity experienced. The space agency maintained that the voltage issue caused...

Minerals Were Scarce When Life First Formed On Earth: Study
2013-11-26 08:05:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Just eight percent of the nearly 5,000 different types of minerals currently found on Earth were present on or near the planet’s surface when life first originated, according to new research published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Science. According to researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, life came about as a result of natural processes that took advantage of raw materials available during...

Curiosity Mars Shut Down Soft Short
2013-11-21 10:16:07

[ Watch the Video: Curiosity Rover Operations Suspended Temporarily ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA has suspended its rover Curiosity operations on Mars to check for possible causes of a voltage change detected this week. The space agency announced that engineers are investigating a “soft” short, which is a leak through a material that is partially conductive of electricity, rather than a hard short like one electrical wire contacting another....

Algorithm To Help Analyze Soil Images From Mars Rover Curiosity
2013-11-16 04:26:45

[ Watch the Video: Getting Up Close And Personal With Mars Soil Samples ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While the instruments on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity are able to easily identify the chemical composition of rocks, measure the speed of the wind and snap amazing images from mast-mounted cameras, the process of analyzing soil images can be a somewhat daunting task, according to researchers from Louisiana State University (LSU). After all, the...

In The Hunt For Habitable Planets, A New Model May Be Key
2013-11-14 13:54:41

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using new theoretical models have created a new method to simplify the search for Earth-like planets. The new models help rule out the possibility of Earth-like conditions on certain planets outside of our solar system. Yann Alibert, of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern, and colleagues based the study on the mass and radius of a planet, helping to determine criteria that exclude the...

Iguana On Mars
2013-11-08 13:44:21

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A UFO hunter claims to have discovered an iguana on Mars in the shape of a rock using photos taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. A YouTube user going by the name of UFO HuntingClouds posted a video this week on YouTube displaying a photograph of rocks taken on the surface of Mars earlier this year. The rock featured in the top right of the image has a very-vague resemblance to what could be a fossilized iguana, and it is sparking some...

NASA, ESA Spacecraft Clean Rooms Infested With Rare Bacterium
2013-11-07 04:33:27

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Fewer microbes live in a spacecraft clean room than in almost any other environment on Earth. Surveys of what might be living in these clean rooms are important for understanding what could be hitching a ride into space. With that said, NASA has announced that scientists recently discovered a rare microbe in two spacecraft clean rooms -- one in Florida and another in South America. If scientists were ever to discover...

Alien Worlds: How Common Are Habitable Planets?
2013-11-05 02:51:36

[ Watch the Video: Earth May Not Be So Unique After All ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online New statistical analysis of data obtained by NASA’s now-retired Kepler spacecraft has revealed that one out of every five sun-like stars have at least one Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. “What this means is, when you look up at the thousands of stars in the night sky, the nearest sun-like star with an Earth-size planet in its habitable zone is probably only...

Scientists Meet To Discuss 833 New Exoplanets
2013-11-04 16:21:02

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international group of scientists are gathering for the second Kepler Science Conference this week at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Researchers will be discussing the latest findings from the Kepler Space Telescope data, which includes the discovery of 833 new candidate planets. Ten of the new exoplanets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in the habitable zone. New Kepler data shows that...


Latest Astrobiology Reference Libraries

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

Astrobiology (journal)
2012-06-04 18:56:55

Astrobiology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published monthly by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. It is the official journal of the Astrobiology Society. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Sherry L. Cady, PhD (Portland State University, Department of Geology). Astrobiology is the leading international journal for astronomers, biologists, chemists, geologists, microbiologists, paleontologists, and planetary scientists designed to advance our understanding of life’s origin, evolution, and...

Sagan, Carl
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 - December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer who pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and science in general. He is less well known for his skepticism. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sagan attended the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree (1955) and a master's degree (1956) in physics, before earning his doctorate (1960) in astronomy and astrophysics. He taught at Harvard University...

8_954eea8cfea1d821c7ed8a17abdb57922
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Xenobiology -- Xenobiology (or exobiology, or astrobiology) is the term for a speculative field within biology which considers the possibility of, and possible nature of, extraterrestrial life. It also necessarily includes the concept of artificial life, since any life form might naturally evolve elsewhere, could conceivably come out of a laboratory using a future technology. It might be difficult to tell whether a truly strange life form had in fact arisen in space, or was designed much...

8_4f8f6116a5b86950ef761e22266894812
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Panspermia -- Panspermia is a theory (more directly described as a hypothesis, as there is no compelling evidence yet available to support or contradict it) that suggests that the seeds of life are prevalent throughout the universe and life on Earth began by such seeds landing on Earth and propagating. The theory has origins in the ideas of Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher. An important proponent of the theory was the British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle. There is some evidence to...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'