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Current Astrobiology News and Events

Current Astrobiology News and Events, Astrobiology News Articles.
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Microscopic technique for detecting microbial life in enceladus water plumes
A new study has demonstrated the potential to use digital holographic microscopy (DHM) to detect microorganisms and evidence of life in water collected from the plume rising from the surface of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. (2017-09-18)
Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought
Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked -- with one side permanently facing their host star -- according to new research by astronomer Rory Barnes of the University of Washington. (2017-08-14)
ALMA confirms complex chemistry in Titan's atmosphere
Saturn's frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan's atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data. (2017-07-28)
NASA finds moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'
NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life. (2017-07-28)
Holographic imaging could be used to detect signs of life in space
Caltech engineer Jay Nadeau says a method called digital holographic microscopy could be used to detect living microbes in space. (2017-07-20)
Ancient plankton-like microfossils span 2 continents
Large, robust, lens-shaped microfossils from the approximately 3.4 billion-year-old Kromberg Formation of the Kaapvaal Craton in eastern South Africa are not only among the oldest elaborate microorganisms known, but are also related to other intricate microfossils of the same age found in the Pilbara Craton of Australia, according to an international team of scientists. (2017-07-13)
Elon Musk's vision of a self-sustaining city on Mars published in New Space
The Commentary entitled 'Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species' presents the vision of Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, for future manned trips to other planets and specifically what will be needed to create a self-sustaining city on Mars. (2017-06-14)
Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres
The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers. (2017-05-09)
Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48-billion-year-old Australian rocks
Fossil evidence of early life has been discovered by UNSW Sydney scientists in 3.48 billion year old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara of Western Australia -- pushing back by 3 billion years the earliest known existence of inhabited terrestrial hot springs on Earth. (2017-05-09)
NASA study hints at possible change in water 'fingerprint' of comet
A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet -- an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new NASA study suggests. (2017-02-28)
Triboelectric nanogenerators boost mass spectrometry performance
Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) convert mechanical energy harvested from the environment to electricity for powering small devices such as sensors or for recharging consumer electronics. (2017-02-27)
SwRI scientist studies geology of Ceres to understand origin of organics
NASA's Dawn spacecraft recently detected organic-rich areas on Ceres. Scientists evaluated the geology of the regions to conclude that the organics are most likely native to the dwarf planet. (2017-02-16)
NASA team looks to ancient earth first to study hazy exoplanets
For astronomers trying to understand which distant planets might have habitable conditions, the role of atmospheric haze has been hazy. (2017-02-09)
'Curiosity' exposes low CO2 level in Mars' primitive atmosphere
The CO2 level in Mars' primitive atmosphere 3.5 billion years ago was too low for sediments, such as those found by NASA's Curiosity exploration vehicle in areas like the Gale Crater on the planet's equator, to be deposited. (2017-02-06)
Embryonic cluster galaxy immersed in giant cloud of cold gas
Unlike the situation in the current Universe, a giant galaxy in a cluster of protogalaxies is growing by feeding on surprisingly-dense surrounding gas, rather than by cannibalizing neighbors. (2016-12-01)
Was the secret spice in primal gene soup a thickener?
A little goo will do to get RNA and DNA to progress toward self-replication in a solution. (2016-10-10)
Methane muted: How did early Earth stay warm?
For at least a billion years of the distant past, planet Earth should have been frozen over but wasn't. (2016-10-06)
Public and media invited to Goddard to celebrate launch of asteroid mission
Members of the public and the media are invited to celebrate the launch of NASA's OSIRIS-REx sample return mission to an asteroid, on Thursday, Sept. (2016-08-29)
A new Goldilocks for habitable planets
The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second 'Goldilocks,' according to a Yale University researcher. (2016-08-19)
MASE Astrobiologists study Mars-like environments on Earth
Recently, a team of astrobiologists from the EU funded MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) project descended 1.1 kilometers below Earth's surface to the Mars-like environment of the Boulby Mine in the UK looking for answers about life on other planets. (2016-08-03)
Before animals, evolution waited eons to inhale
Time to smash the beaker when thinking about oxygen concentrations in water, at the time when animal life first evolved. (2016-07-25)
NASA selects Global Aerospace Corporation and Northrop Grumman for Titan Atmospheric Rover
Global Aerospace Corporation announced today that, in collaboration with Northrop Grumman, it will be developing a new exploration vehicle for Saturn's moon, Titan. (2016-07-06)
Cornell University astronomer recognized for outstanding science achievement
Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy and director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute, has been name the inaugural recipient of the Barrie Jones Award by The Open University (OU), United Kingdom, and the Astrobiology Society of Britain (ASB). (2016-06-29)
Remarkably diverse flora in Utah, USA, trains scientists for future missions on Mars
Future manned missions to the Mars will rely heavily on training at sites here on Earth that serve as analogues to the red planet, such Utah's Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), run by the Mars Society. (2016-06-09)
A planet 1,200 light-years away is a good prospect for a habitable world
A distant 'super-Earth' size planet known as Kepler-62f could be habitable, a team of astronomers reports. (2016-05-26)
Ancient tsunami evidence on Mars reveals life potential
The geologic shape of what were once shorelines through Mars' northern plains convinces scientists that two large meteorites -- hitting the planet millions of years apart -- triggered a pair of mega-tsunamis. (2016-05-19)
MIT scientists compile list of potential gases to guide search for life on exoplanets
A new approach intended to maximize the chances of identifying planets orbiting nearby stars that support life focuses on creating a comprehensive list of the molecules that might be present in the atmospheres of these exoplanets. (2016-05-05)
NASA taps Penn State geoscientist to join ancient Mars habitability project
When NASA began seeking new scientists to join its Curiosity Mars rover team, Penn State geoscientist Christopher House knew his experience could be a valuable asset to the project. (2016-05-05)
Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness
Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question -- summed up in the famous Drake equation -- has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science. (2016-04-28)
In these microbes, iron works like oxygen
A pair of papers from a UW-Madison geoscience lab shed light on a curious group of bacteria that use iron in much the same way that animals use oxygen: to soak up electrons during biochemical reactions. (2016-04-15)
Release of the first Roadmap for European Astrobiology
The first scientific Roadmap for European Astrobiology was published on March 21st. (2016-03-29)
Computer model explains sustained eruptions on icy moon of Saturn
The Cassini spacecraft has observed geysers erupting on Saturn's moon Enceladus since 2005, but the process that drives and sustains these eruptions has remained a mystery. (2016-03-28)
What if extraterrestrial observers called, but nobody heard?
Researchers say the best chance for finding a signal from beyond Earth is to presume extraterrestrial observers are using the same methods to search for us that we are using to search for life beyond Earth. (2016-03-01)
Portion of ancient Australian chert microstructures definitively pseudo-fossils
A team of scientists including Carnegie's Dina Bower and Andrew Steele weigh in on whether microstructures found in 3.46 billion-year-old samples of a silica-rich rock called chert found in Western Australia are the planet's oldest fossils. (2016-02-16)
New study challenges Jupiter's role as planetary shield, protecting Earth from comet impacts
Not only is the 'Jupiter as shield' concept, implying that the planet shields Earth from comet impacts, not true, but perhaps Jupiter's most important role in fostering the development of life on Earth was just the opposite -- delivering the volatile materials from the outer Solar System needed for life to form. (2016-02-03)
Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions on the International Space Station
European scientists have gathered tiny fungi that take shelter in Antarctic rocks and sent them to the International Space Station. (2016-01-28)
The aliens are silent because they're dead
The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens. (2016-01-21)
Nearing the limits of life on Earth
McGill scientists are looking for life in an area of Antarctica that is thought to be the place on Earth that most closely resembles the permafrost found in the northern polar region of Mars, at the Phoenix landing site. (2016-01-19)
Looking back 3.8 billion years into the root of the 'Tree of Life'
NASA-funded researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are tapping information found in the cells of all life on Earth, and using it to trace life's evolution. (2015-11-30)
Newfound Earth-size exoplanet may be an important milestone in search for alien life
Researchers have discovered an exoplanet just slightly bigger than Earth and located much closer to our Solar System than any other terrestrial, alien world. (2015-11-11)
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