Exobiology

  • Scientists at Cornell University say that life-bearing exoplanets may be detectable by their soft glow. Based on laboratory studies, the team believes that a mechanism that protects organisms from hard ultraviolet radiation could make worlds beyond the solar system radiate a soft, detectable light.
  • If you want life on Mars, add hydrogen and and send down some asteroids. NASA's Curiosity's SAM instrument and laboratory simulations show that the impact of asteroids caused hydrogen in the ancient Martian atmosphere to stimulate the creation of the nitrates required to sustain life.
  • Science
    To gain a better understanding of how life might have arisen on Earth and other planets, a NASA team led by astrobiologist Laurie Barge recreated the conditions in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean four billion years ago.
  • Algae found in a candy-pink Spanish lagoon is giving scientists hope that life could or may once have existed on Mars. Dunaliella salina EP-1, from the Laguna de Peña Hueca in La Mancha, lives in high salt and sulfur concentrations similar to those found at the buried lake at the Martian ice cap.
  • Is Mars too dry support life? To find out, NASA sent a team from the Ames Research Center to the Atacama Desert in Chile to identify the limit is that divides the point where microorganisms can live, and where the best they can hope for is very temporary survival, and where Mars lands on this scale.
  • Europa is regarded as one of the most likely places in the solar system to find life, but where to look for evidence of it? To aid future space missions, a team has drawn up comprehensive maps of the radiation bombarding the moon to determine where explorers must look to find signs of life.
  • Today, the Moon is as dead as you can get, but scientists contend that this might not have been the case billions of years ago. There were two periods shortly after the Moon formed when it could have been possible for life to have existed on the lunar surface.
  • Science
    The quest for signs of ancient life on Mars received a major boost today after NASA revealed that its Curiosity rover has found signs of organic molecules that date back at least three billion years.
  • We may be more alone in the Universe than we realize. According to Cardiff University astronomers, the chemical element phosphorus is abundant on Earth, but may be very rare outside of our Solar System. Because phosphorus is essential to life, it's rarity may mean that life may be equally rare.
  • To find out what life might be like on a TRAPPIST planet, we contacted Lisa Kaltenegger and Jack O'Malley-James at the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University and asked them One Big Question: "What could life in the TRAPPIST-1 system be like?"​
  • Science
    Curiosity's soil sample analysis reveals no surprises.