Latest Planetary habitability Stories

2008-01-16 08:55:00

Our planet is changing before our eyes, and as a result, many species are living on the edge. Yet Earth has been on the edge of habitability from the beginning. New work by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that if Earth had been slightly smaller and less massive, it would not have plate tectonics - the forces that move continents and build mountains. And without plate tectonics, life might never have gained a foothold on our world. "Plate tectonics are...

2007-10-19 11:55:00

The first steps of the next great phase of European space science have been taken! At its meeting held on 17-18 October 2007 in Paris, ESA's Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) selected the new candidates for possible future scientific missions. "It has been an arduous process both inside ESA and in the community to get these winning groups into what I suppose can be said to be the quarterfinals of one of the ultimate competitions in world space science," said ESA's Director of Science,...

2007-08-19 11:00:00

Researchers at Cardiff University believe that recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space. Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at the University's Centre for Astrobiology have long argued the case for panspermia - the theory that life began inside comets and then spread to habitable planets across the galaxy. It is a controversial topic, but highly relevant for astrobiologists trying to understand the origin of life and potential for...

2007-07-19 11:21:43

"I just do it for the pictures," laughs Dr. David Imel as he points to the myriad posters of stars and galaxies hanging from the walls in his office at Caltech. But the picture Imel wants to see most doesn't exist yet "“ a pale blue dot orbiting a distant star. Another Earth. As the manager of the Michelson Science Center at Caltech, Imel coordinates a team of scientists and engineers whose goal is to find the elusive Earthlike planet. He and his team schedule and organize telescope...

2007-04-25 17:20:00

GENEVA -- Swiss scientist Michel Mayor, who heads the European team that announced the discovery of a new potentially habitable planet, has his sights set on an even bigger target -- detecting signs of extraterrestrial life. Mayor predicts that top researchers are less than two decades away from being able to detect real signs of such life - if it exists. "There's only one thing we can do. We can do science, we can do experiments. We have the methodology, the ability to do this simply on...

2007-04-11 10:15:00

NASA scientists believe they have found a way to predict the color of plants on planets in other solar systems. Green, yellow or even red-dominant plants may live on extra-solar planets, according to scientists whose two scientific papers appear in the March issue of the journal, Astrobiology. The scientists studied light absorbed and reflected by organisms on Earth, and determined that if astronomers were to look at the light given off by planets circling distant stars, they might predict...

2007-01-15 10:50:00

A recent study found 20 new star systems in the sun's local neighborhood. Most of the new discoveries are red dwarfs, much smaller and dimmer than the sun. Yet scientists are growing more confident that these stars could host habitable planets. NASA - Ancient astronomers logically focused their efforts on the brightest stars, the ones they could see in the night sky. Many modern astronomers, aided by ever-more-sensitive telescopes, have investigated objects that are unimaginably distant and...

2006-09-11 12:20:00

More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside our solar system may harbor Earth-like planets covered in deep global oceans that offer abundant potential for life, according to a new study by scientists associated with NASA's Astrobiology Institute. The study focuses on planetary systems that contain "Hot Jupiters": gas giant planets that orbit extremely close to their parent stars -- even closer than Mercury to our own sun. Hot Jupiters are believed to have...

2006-02-21 07:37:41

AAAS -- In the search for life on other worlds, scientists can listen for radio transmissions from stellar neighborhoods where intelligent civilizations might lurk or they can try to actually spot planets like our own in habitable zones around nearby stars. Either approach is tricky and relies on choosing the right targets for scrutiny out of the many thousands of nearby stars in our galactic neighborhood. Margaret Turnbull, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, has...

2006-02-19 00:10:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent ST. LOUIS -- Astronomers looking for extraterrestrial life now have a short list of places to point their telescopes. They include nearby stars of the right size, age and composition to have Earth-like planets circling them, scientists said on Saturday. But cuts in federal funding mean that private philanthropists who pay for the bulk of their work may find out first when and if extraterrestrial life is discovered, the astronomers told a meeting...

Latest Planetary habitability 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...

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Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.