Latest Planetary habitability Stories
More than half the stars in our galaxy are small, dim M dwarfs. Until recently, scientists believed these stars put out too little light to support life on any planets that orbited them. Now, that opinion has changed.
With this essay by Steven Soter, Astrobiology Magazine presents the first in our series of 'Gedanken', or thought, experiments - musings by noted scientists on scientific mysteries in a series of "what if" scenarios.
M-dwarf stars, much smaller, dimmer and cooler than stars like our sun, are by far the most common type of star in our galaxy. Yet scientists searching for life on other worlds have not shown much interest in M dwarfs. That's about to change.
Recent research argues that an atmosphere rich in oxygen is the most likely source of energy for complex life to exist anywhere in the Universe, thereby limiting the number of places life may exist.
Bernard Foing, Chief Scientist for the European Space Agency, provides on overview of the most notable discoveries made during the Mars Express mission, Europe's first trip to the Red Planet. In part two of this overview, Foing looks at how these discoveries could help pinpoint the prospects for life on Mars.
Looking for biosignatures that would be characteristic of intelligent life is not always about extrapolating the most intelligent things a species might be doing. For instance, would one look for pollutants in the atmosphere? Carnegie Institutions' Maggie Turnbull answers that and other questions from colleagues following her lecture, "Remote Sensing of Life and Habitable Worlds".
Of the 500 scientifically interesting stars within 30 light-years, how many habitable zones will astronomers be able to image? If there's a planet in those habitable zones, how detectable will that planet be? Carnegie's Maggie Turnbull presented a talk, "Remote Sensing of Life and Habitable Worlds: Habstars, Earthshine and TPF," at a NASA Forum for Astrobiology Research on March 14, 2005. This edited transcript of the lecture is part three of a four-part series.
Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Turnbull presented a talk, "Remote Sensing of Life and Habitable Worlds: Habstars, Earthshine and TPF." This edited transcript of the lecture is part two of a four-part series.
Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's upcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.
Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees describes how for the first time, humans as a species may start to change in observable ways within single lifetimes and under some loose control of our own influence. If this future plays out, the future itself becomes more difficult to forecast.
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...
- An uxorious, effeminate, or spiritless man.
- A timorous, cowardly fellow.