Latest Astrobiology Stories

2014-03-25 12:21:17

Researchers in Spain have designed a vacuum chamber capable of mimicking conditions on Mars to test gear for use in future missions WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A research team in Spain has the enviable job of testing out new electromechanical gear for potential use in future missions to the "Red Planet." They do it within their Mars environmental simulation chamber, which is specially designed to mimic conditions on the fourth planet from the sun -- right...

Sandstone layers with varying resistance to erosion
2014-03-25 06:30:10

Guy Webster, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission's next science waypoint. On a journey with many months yet to go toward prime destinations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp, Curiosity is approaching a site called "the Kimberley." Scientists on the team picked this location last year as a likely place to pause for...

Fuel Cells May Have Answers To The Rise Of Life
2014-03-14 10:32:15

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory How life arose from the toxic and inhospitable environment of our planet billions of years ago remains a deep mystery. Researchers have simulated the conditions of an early Earth in test tubes, even fashioning some of life's basic ingredients. But how those ingredients assembled into living cells, and how life was first able to generate energy, remain unknown. A new study led by Laurie Barge of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.,...

Looking To Geology To Find Answers Of How Life On Earth Originated
2014-03-13 10:20:59

[ Watch the Video: The Origins of Life on Earth ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online By simulating a geologic precursor of cell metabolism, a team of British and American scientists have taken an important step toward understanding how life arose on Earth. Their work is published in a new paper in the journal Astrobiology. “What we are trying to do is to bridge the gap between the geological processes of the early Earth and the emergence of biological life on this...

Kepler Space Telescope Marks Five Years in Space
2014-03-07 11:47:49

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Exactly five years ago, on March 6, 2009, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope rocketed into the night skies above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to find planets around other stars, called exoplanets, in search of potentially habitable worlds. Since then, Kepler has unveiled a whole new side of our galaxy -- one that is teeming with planets. Because of Kepler, we now know that most stars have planets, Earth-sized planets are common, and planets...

Exoplanet Atmospheres
2014-03-05 07:53:33

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The holy grail of planetary astronomy is the search for a potentially habitable planet, or even better, one that is shown to already contain life. There are various parameters that are needed in order to ascertain the habitability of worlds, such as whether liquid water can be sustained on its surface. Recent studies, however, have found that identifying some of these characteristics is rather difficult, and we may in fact...

NASA Scientists Find Evidence Of Water In Martian Meteorite
2014-02-28 07:16:06

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Evidence of water and life on Mars is a hotly debated topic that has been ongoing for decades. While most scientists agree that Mars had an abundant source of water in its ancient past, there has only been limited evidence that life may have once existed on the Red Planet. However, scientists from NASA’ Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have found evidence of past water...

New Austrian Study Suggests Super-Earths Are Unfit For Life
2014-02-27 12:56:13

John P. Millis, Ph.D. for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The last two decades have brought unprecedented understanding of worlds outside of our solar system. The launch of the Kepler space telescope and other instruments have allowed astronomers to find and characterize hundreds of new planets, with thousands more candidates waiting to be confirmed. As our technology continues to improve, we will be able to isolate smaller and smaller planets, eventually identifying Earth-sized...

mars striations
2014-02-27 12:04:34

NASA NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has reached an area where orbital images had piqued researchers' interest in patches of ground with striations all oriented in a similar direction. A close-up look at some of the striations from the rover's Navigation Camera gains extra drama by including Mount Sharp in the background. The lower slopes of that layered mountain are the mission's long-term science destination. The foreground rocks are in an outcrop called "Junda," which the rover passed...

NASA's Kepler Mission Has Discovered 715 New Exoplanets
2014-02-26 14:52:57

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that its Kepler mission has discovered 715 new planets orbiting 305 stars. The space agency said that 95 percent of the newly discovered worlds are smaller than Neptune, which is about four times the size of Earth. NASA added that this discovery marks an increase in the number of known small-sized planets that are similar to Earth than any previously identified exoplanets. "The Kepler team continues to...

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...

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...

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
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'