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Latest Astrobiology Stories

Equipped with New Sensors, Morpheus Lander Preps To Tackle Its Own Landing
2014-04-25 03:46:30

[ Watch The Video: NASA’s Morpheus Lander Completes 8th Free Flight ] Steven Siceloff, NASA A test flight later this week will challenge a set of sensors to map out a 65-yard square of boulder-sized hazards and pick out a safe place to land. Mounted to an uncrewed prototype lander called Morpheus that flies autonomously several hundred feet above the ground, the sensor system will have 10 seconds to do its work: six seconds really, as it will take four seconds to map the area...

Mysteries Of Nearby Planetary System's Dynamics Are Now Solved
2014-04-22 12:33:58

Penn State Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets -- the star named 55 Cancri -- was led by Penn State University graduate student Benjamin Nelson in...

Plant Material Stored In Impact Glass Could Reveal Much About Ancient Earth, Mars
2014-04-20 07:04:38

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The discovery of biodata encapsulated in molten glass resulting from asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago not only provides information about the climate and life forms of the ancient Earth, but has also led to hopes that similar preserved organic compounds will be discovered on Mars. Fragments of leaves and other organic compounds were found lodged inside glass created by ancient impacts in Argentina by Brown...

2014-04-17 16:21:08

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO While planets...

Astronomers Using Kepler Telescope Discover First Earth-Sized Exoplanet Within The Habitable Zone
2014-04-17 15:09:39

[ Watch the Video: Kepler Discovers First Earth-Sized Exoplanet In Habitable Zone ] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A potential game changer in the hunt for life outside our neighborhood has just been discovered about 493 light years away. Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have found a rocky planet that is similar in size to Earth and is within the “habitable zone” of the star it orbits. The discovery of this planet, called Kepler-186f,...

Karen Smith
2014-04-17 08:40:45

Bill Steigerwald, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts. "It is always difficult to put a value on the connection between meteorites and the origin of life; for...

Curiosity Mars rover tracks
2014-04-17 04:57:32

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The Curiosity science team is analyzing the rock layer surrounding the base of a 16-foot-high butte known as “Mount Remarkable” to determine whether or not the region is a good candidate for investigation using tools on the robotic arm on the Mars rover, NASA announced Wednesday. The rock layer surrounding the base of Mount Remarkable has been dubbed “the middle unit” by scientists because of its location between rocks...

Tilted orbits
2014-04-16 04:31:03

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While experts have long believed that life could not exist on planets with a fluctuating tilt in their orbits, new research appearing in the April issue of the journal Astrobiology suggests that such obliquity variations could actually increase the planetary habitability in those worlds. According to Weber State University physics professor John Armstrong, University of Washington astronomer Rory Barnes and their colleagues, these...

2014-04-15 12:21:46

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will host a news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The journal Science has embargoed the findings until the time of the news conference. The briefing participants are: -- Douglas Hudgins, exoplanet exploration program scientist, NASA's Astrophysics Division in...

Martians Or A Mere Technical Glitch? What's That Light Shining On Mars?
2014-04-09 04:19:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online It’s the mystery that has space enthusiasts and the blogosphere buzzing: what exactly is the flash of light that appears on photos taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover earlier this month? According to Rachel Katz of ABC News, the images were taken by the rover on April 2 and 3 at a location called “the Kimberley,” a spot where Curiosity could search for rock clues about ancient environments which could have been favorable...


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
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'