Astrobio.net

Elements of ExoPlanets

By looking at the wavelengths of light from nearby stars, researchers have determined the abundance of certain elements for more than a hundred stars. Trace elements in such stars may influence their habitable ...

Feb 02, 2012 4.9 / 5 (8) 0 | with audio podcast

A salt-free primordial soup?

Most scientists who study the origin of life assume that it occurred in the ocean. But a minority view is that ions in seawater may interfere with prebiotic chemistry, making a freshwater environment more ...

Jan 19, 2012 3.4 / 5 (5) 0 | with audio podcast

Wanted: Habitable moons

As the Kepler space telescope continues to search for potentially habitable planets, it also may reveal moons that could host life. Three new simulations will help astronomers identify rocky satellites that ...

Jan 06, 2012 5 / 5 (4) 8 | with audio podcast

Seeking a pot of geological gold

Researchers are moving a step closer to solving one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time. It happened roughly 200 million years ago, marking the boundary between the Triassic and Jurassic periods, ...

Dec 16, 2011 5 / 5 (5) 3

SAM I am

The Mars Science Laboratory is on its way to the red planet, and its rover Curiosity should touch down next summer. If the mission hits paydirt and comes across organic material, then one instrument in particular ...

Dec 06, 2011 4 / 5 (1) 0

Pluto's hidden ocean

When NASA's New Horizons cruises by Pluto in 2015, the images it captures could help astronomers determine if an ocean is hiding under the frigid surface, opening the door to new possibilities for liquid water ...

Nov 24, 2011 4.9 / 5 (17) 11 | with audio podcast

The methane habitable zone

In the search for life elsewhere, many studies focus on finding liquid water. But what if life could exist with some other solvent? Saturn’s smoggy moon Titan makes scientists question the possibilities ...

Nov 11, 2011 4.9 / 5 (16) 3 | with audio podcast