Latest Astrobiology Stories
On Tuesday, researchers working with data from NASA's Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of eight new ‘exoplanets’ located in the Goldilocks zone at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
One of the key factors in the search for life on other worlds is a planet’s ability to sustain liquid water, and researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have for the first time revealed that this possibility exists on the type of planets known as super-Earths.
In December, NASA reported that its Mars rover “Opportunity”, which has been working the surface of Mars for over 10 years, was experiencing continuing Flash memory problems. They now believe they've found a way to “hack” its software, enabling them to disregard the faulty part.
The scientific community was a-buzz in late 2013, when NASA researchers reported that the Hubble Space Telescope had detected 120-mile high vapor plumes emanating from the south pole of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
The findings have implications for life on both Earth and Mars.
Even a shallow ocean, about 50 meters deep, would be enough to keep such a planet at relatively comfortable temperatures, averaging around 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.
Sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years were responsible for the creation of Mount Sharp on Mars, according to observations conducted by NASA’s Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater.
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 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...
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...
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...
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...
- An aromatic woolly plant (Origanum dictamnus) native to Crete, formerly believed to have magical powers.