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Latest Astrobiology Stories

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...

curiosity looks back
2014-02-20 11:08:34

Guy Webster, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Terrain that NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is now crossing is as smooth as team members had anticipated based on earlier images from orbit. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the rover covered 329 feet (100.3 meters), the mission's first long trek that used reverse driving and its farthest one-day advance of any kind in more than three months. The reverse drive validated feasibility of a technique developed with testing on Earth to lessen damage to...

Exoplanet Hunter Selected By European Space Agency
2014-02-20 04:31:01

[ Watch the Video: The Newest Exoplanet Hunter - PLATO ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One of the hottest topics in 21st century science is the exploration of planets around stars other than our own Sun. These planets are known as extrasolar planets, or "exoplanets." One of the key goals of such research is to discover and learn about the properties of Earth-like worlds in the Sun's neighborhood. The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing a new space mission,...

curiosity tracks across dune
2014-02-12 07:45:08

Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing its traverse toward enticing science destinations after climbing over a dune spanning a gap in a ridge. The rover covered 135 feet (41.1 meters) on Feb. 9, in its first drive since the 23-foot (7-meter) crossing of the dune on Feb. 6. That put Curiosity's total odometry since its August 2012 landing at 3.09 miles (4.97 kilometers). An animated sequence of images from the low-slung Hazard-Avoidance Camera...

New Techniques Tease Out Building Blocks Of Life In Meteorites
2014-02-04 06:24:52

[ Watch the Video: New Technique For Studying Out-Of-This-World Particles ] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have long delved into the mysteries of the origins of life here on Earth and more recently have found evidence pointing to the skies above us. Some evidence has been found in material created in space and delivered to Earth via comets and meteors, containing the building blocks for life. The latest round of evidence comes by way of Michael...

Superhabitable Exoplanet
2014-01-24 11:27:06

[ Watch the Video: Are Some Exoplanets More Super Than Earth? ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The stellar habitable zone (SHZ), or Goldilocks zone, is considered the range of ideal orbital distances from a star for creating the conditions necessary for life. A new paper published recently in the journal Astrobiology argues that some planetary bodies outside this zone may hold environments even more habitable for life than those found here on Earth. The authors...


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...

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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...

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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
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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