Extrasolar Planets

Proxima Centauri as a Benchmark for Stellar Activity Indicators in the Near Infrared

Proxima Centauri as a Benchmark for Stellar Activity Indicators in the Near Infrared

A new generation of dedicated Doppler spectrographs will attempt to detect low-mass exoplanets around mid-late M stars at near infrared (NIR) wavelengths, where those stars are brightest and have the most Doppler information content.

Genomics and Cell Biology

Non-Standard Bonding in Base Pairs

Non-Standard Bonding in Base Pairs

A new study provides insight into base pair bonding in artificial DNA polymerase. Researchers focused on a previously unknown base pair: iso-guanine and methyl-pyrimidinone.

Astrobiology (general)

Astrobiology Primer v2.0 Released

Astrobiology Primer v2.0 Released

The long awaited second edition of the Astrobiology Primer is now published in the journal Astrobiology.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Being In The Habitable Zone Is Not Enough

Being In The Habitable Zone Is Not Enough

The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second "Goldilocks," according to a Yale University researcher.

Extrasolar Planets

Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat

Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat

We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (roughly 20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (less than 2-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (roughly 10 Myr).

Climate

Milankovitch Cycles of Terrestrial Planets in Binary Star Systems

Milankovitch Cycles of Terrestrial Planets in Binary Star Systems

The habitability of planets in binary star systems depends not only on the radiation environment created by the two stars, but also on the perturbations to planetary orbits and rotation produced by the gravitational field of the binary and neighbouring planets.

Fossils

Fossil Evidence Of Supernova Remnants

Fossil Evidence Of Supernova Remnants

Physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have succeeded in detecting a time-resolved supernova signal in the Earth's microfossil record.

Astrochemistry

Ice Grain Collisions in Comparison: CO2, H2O and their Mixtures

Ice Grain Collisions in Comparison: CO2, H2O and their Mixtures

Collisions of ice particles play an important role in the formation of planetesimals and comets. In recent work we showed, that CO2 ice behaves like silicates in collisions.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Venus-like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, But Not Life

Venus-like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, But Not Life

The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year. Located just 39 light-years from Earth, it might have an atmosphere despite being baked to a temperature of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit. But would that atmosphere be thick and soupy or thin and wispy? New research suggests the latter is much more likely.

Biochemistry

How Plants and Bacteria See Light

How Plants and Bacteria See Light

Plants, bacteria and fungi react to light with light-sensitive proteins. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg and their Finnish colleagues from University of Jyväskylä have now determined the inner workings of one of these proteins. The results have been published in the most recent issue of Science Advances.

Genomics and Cell Biology

Earth's Viral Diversity

Earth's Viral Diversity

The number of microbes in, on, and around the planet - on the order of a nonillion, or 10^30 - is estimated to outnumber the stars in the Milky Way.

More top stories from August.