Tag Archives: Astrobiology

SETI deals with new tools and new troubles

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, better known as SETI, is taking advantage of a widening array of strategies — ranging from sophisticated laser searches, to a new type of wide-angle optical observatory, to arrangements to conduct the search simultaneously with … Continue reading

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Space bits suggest CO2 blanketed ancient Earth

Today, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a cause for concern, but 2.7 billion years ago, high levels of CO2 probably kept our planet warm enough for life even though the sun was about 20% fainter than it is today. … Continue reading

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Did life emerge from carbonate-rich lakes?

Where did life on Earth get its start? In a newly published study, researchers from the University of Washington argue that carbonate-rich lakes would have been the best place for life’s chemical building blocks to come together. Get the news brief … Continue reading

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Scientists fine-tune standards for habitable planets

Astronomers have identified thousands of stars that have planets, and that number could mushroom even faster when waves of next-generation telescopes come online. But where are the best places to look for life? A newly released study focuses on the most plentiful … Continue reading

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NASA decides to send a nuclear drone to Titan

NASA has chosen to commit up to $850 million to creating an interplanetary probe unlike any seen before: a rotor-equipped spacecraft that will fly through the smoggy atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon. The Dragonfly mission will be managed by Johns … Continue reading

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Cave-exploring rover tested for moon and Mars

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Underground lava tubes are great places to set up bases on the moon, or look for life on Mars — but they’ll be super-tricky to navigate. Which is why a NASA team is practicing with a cave … Continue reading

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Martian methane fades away but mystery remains

BELLEVUE, Wash. — NASA says the record-setting belch of Martian methane that its Curiosity rover detected last week has faded away, leaving some big questions hanging in the air: Where did the gas come from, and what were its origins? Much of … Continue reading

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Is there life on Mars? The answer may be squishy

BELLEVUE, Wash. — NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected fresh whiffs of Martian methane, once again sparking speculation about a potential biological source — but researchers at the space agency say it’s too early to raise the alert for life on Mars. … Continue reading

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Saturn’s moon Enceladus may offer ‘free lunch’

The sea that lies beneath the icy surface of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, could provide even more fuel for extraterrestrial organisms than previously thought. That’s the upshot of a study to be presented at AbSciCon 2019, an astrobiology conference taking place next … Continue reading

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Climate analysis checks for most livable exoplanets

If you had to pick a place to set up shop amid the seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 star system, 39 light-years from Earth, the fourth rock from that alien sun is the best place to start. That Earth-sized world, … Continue reading

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