Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Super Salty, Subzero Arctic Water Provides Peek At Possible Life On Other Planets

Super Salty, Subzero Arctic Water Provides Peek At Possible Life On Other Planets

In recent years, the idea of life on other planets has become less far-fetched. NASA announced June 27 that it will send a vehicle to Saturn's icy moon, Titan, a celestial body known to harbor surface lakes of methane and an ice-covered ocean of water, boosting its chance for supporting life.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

New Method For Studying Early Life In Ancient Rocks

New Method For Studying Early Life In Ancient Rocks

Scientists have developed a new method for detecting traces of primordial life in ancient rock formations using potassium.

Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Snow Algae Thrive In High-elevation Ice Spires, An Unlikely Oasis For Life

Snow Algae Thrive In High-elevation Ice Spires, An Unlikely Oasis For Life

High in the Andes Mountains, dagger-shaped ice spires house thriving microbial communities, offering an oasis for life in one of Earth's harshest environments as well as a possible analogue for life on other planets.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Origin Of Life Insight: Peptides Can Form Without Amino Acids

Origin Of Life Insight: Peptides Can Form Without Amino Acids

Peptides, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, can be formed from the primitive precursors of amino acids under conditions similar to those expected on the primordial Earth, finds a new UCL study.

Origin & Evolution of Life

Key Early Steps For Origin of Life Occur Under a Variety of Conditions

Key Early Steps For Origin of Life Occur Under a Variety of Conditions

Potential precursors to life on Earth form from a variety of complex mixtures, according to a team of scientists who say this could point to the development of building blocks crucial to forming genetic molecules for the origins of life on Earth.

Astrochemistry

Formation and Delivery of Complex Organic Molecules to the Solar System and Early Earth

Formation and Delivery of Complex Organic Molecules to the Solar System and Early Earth

The late stages of stellar evolution from asymptotic giant branch stars to planetary nebulae are now known to be an active phase of molecular synthesis.

SETI

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The discovery of the ubiquity of habitable extrasolar planets, combined with revolutionary advances in instrumentation and observational capabilities, have ushered in a renaissance in the millenia-old quest to answer our most profound question about the Universe and our place within it - Are we alone?

Moon

Searching the Moon for Extrasolar Material and the Building Blocks of Extraterrestrial Life

Searching the Moon for Extrasolar Material and the Building Blocks of Extraterrestrial Life

Due to its absence of an atmosphere and relative geological inertness, the Moon's surface records past impacts of objects from the Solar system and beyond.

Planetary Protection

Absolute Prioritization of Planetary Protection, Safety, and Avoiding Imperialism in All Future Science Missions: A Policy Perspective

Absolute Prioritization of Planetary Protection, Safety, and Avoiding Imperialism in All Future Science Missions: A Policy Perspective

The prioritization and improvement of ethics, planetary protection, and safety standards in the astro-sciences is the most critical priority as our scientific and exploratory capabilities progress, both within government agencies and the private sector.

SETI

SETI in the Spatio-Temporal Survey Domain

SETI in the Spatio-Temporal Survey Domain

Traditional searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) or "technosignatures" focus on dedicated observations of single stars or regions in the sky to detect excess or transient emission from intelligent sources.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Expanding the Timeline for Earth's Photosynthetic Red Edge Biosignature

Expanding the Timeline for Earth's Photosynthetic Red Edge Biosignature

When Carl Sagan observed the Earth during a Gallileo fly-by in 1993, he found a widely distributed surface pigment with a sharp reflection edge in the red part of the spectrum, which, together with the abundance of gaseous oxygen and methane in extreme thermodynamic disequilibrium, were strongly suggestive of the presence of life on Earth.

More top stories from July.