Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Extreme Environment of Danakil Depression Sheds Light on Mars, Titan

Extreme Environment of Danakil Depression Sheds Light on Mars, Titan

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is a spectacular, hostile environment that may resemble conditions encountered on Mars and Titan -- as well as in sites containing nuclear waste.

Extinction events

Clues To Recovery From Mass Extinction

Clues To Recovery From Mass Extinction

About 252 million years ago, more than 90 percent of all animal life on Earth went extinct. This event, called the "Permian-Triassic mass extinction," represents the greatest catastrophe in the history of life on Earth.

Venus

Venus As An Analog for Hot Earths

Venus As An Analog for Hot Earths

Here, we evaluate our nearest planetary neighbor, Venus, as an exemplar of the runaway greenhouse state that bounds the inner edge of the habitable zone. Despite its current hellish surface environment, Venus may once have been habitable with oceans of surface liquid water.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Dinosaurs Ended And Originated With A Bang

Dinosaurs Ended And Originated With A Bang

It is commonly understood that the dinosaurs disappeared with a bang - wiped out by a great meteorite impact on the Earth 66 million years ago.

Extrasolar Planets

Earth As An Exoplanet

Earth As An Exoplanet

The search for habitable and inhabited environments beyond our planet commonly focuses on analogs to Earth, especially in the case of exoplanets. Observations from ground-based facilities, satellites, and spacecraft have yielded a rich collection of data that can be used to effectively view a distant Earth within the context of exoplanet characterization.

Astrobiology (general)

Watch Third Annual 'Breakthrough Discuss' Conference Live on YouTube

Watch Third Annual 'Breakthrough Discuss' Conference Live on YouTube

The third annual Breakthrough Discuss scientific conference, which will bring together leading astrobiologists, astronomers, engineers, and astrophysicists to advance discussion around recent discoveries of potential life in the Universe and novel ideas for space exploration, will be held on Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13, and full sessions will be available for live viewing on YouTube.

The two days of discussions will focus on "Alien Life: Diversity in the Universe," with sessions discussing the search for life in our solar system, possibilities for non-terrain life in the Universe, as well as progress in novel space propulsion. The conference will be live streamed on the Breakthrough Prize's YouTube page. Viewers are encouraged to participate virtually via a chat feature, which will be monitored by a facilitator who will feed questions into the panel discussion sessions.

SETI

A Cosmic Gorilla Effect Could Blind The Detection Of Aliens

A Cosmic Gorilla Effect Could Blind The Detection Of Aliens

A well-known experiment with young people bouncing a ball showed that when an observer focuses on counting the passes, he does not detect if someone crosses the stage disguised as a gorilla.

Analog Studies

Salty Subglacial Lakes Could Help Search For Life In Our Solar System

Salty Subglacial Lakes Could Help Search For Life In Our Solar System

Researchers from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) have helped discover the first subglacial lakes ever found in the Canadian High Arctic.

SETI

Outback Radio Telescope Listens in on Interstellar Visitor

Outback Radio Telescope Listens in on Interstellar Visitor

A telescope in outback Western Australia has been used to listen to a mysterious cigar-shaped object that entered our Solar System late last year.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Water May Have Appeared While Earth Was Still Growing

Water May Have Appeared While Earth Was Still Growing

Up until about ten years ago, scientists thought they had a pretty good picture of how the moon and Earth came to co-exist. Then more precise measurements blew it all wide open, and scientists are still struggling to reconcile them.

Courses

ASU Online Science Course On Habitable Worlds

ASU Online Science Course On Habitable Worlds

Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration recently released new research on its flagship Smart Course, Habitable Worlds, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Astrobiology.

More top stories from April.