Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Detecting Earth-like Biosignatures On Rocky Exoplanets Around Nearby Stars With Ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes

Detecting Earth-like Biosignatures On Rocky Exoplanets Around Nearby Stars With Ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes

As we begin to discover rocky planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars with missions like TESS and CHEOPS, we will need quick advancements on instrumentation and observational techniques that will enable us to answer key science questions.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Imaging Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light: Science Investigations and Synergy with Habitable Planets

Imaging Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light: Science Investigations and Synergy with Habitable Planets

Planned astronomical observatories of the 2020s will be capable of obtaining reflected light photometry and spectroscopy of cool extrasolar giant planets.

International Space Station

Pathogenic Microbes Have Colonized The International Space Station

Pathogenic Microbes Have Colonized The International Space Station

Astronauts leave behind many things when they boldly go. Bacteria, however, stay with them. Extreme spaceflight conditions can force these bacteria to toughen up, while simultaneously lowering the immune defenses of the stressed, isolated crew. These effects - and the risk of infection - grow with mission duration.

Extremeophiles and Extreme Environments

Microbes That Grow On Nitric Oxide

Microbes That Grow On Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide is a fascinating and versatile molecule, important for all living things as well as our environment: It is highly reactive and toxic, it is used as a signaling molecule, it depletes the ozone layer in our planet's atmosphere and it is the precursor of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O).

SETI

The Promise of Data Science for the Technosignatures Field

The Promise of Data Science for the Technosignatures Field

This paper outlines some of the possible advancements for the technosignatures searches using the new methods currently rapidly developing in computer science, such as machine learning and deep learning.

Astrobiology (general)

Report: An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

Report: An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. It is an inherently interdisciplinary field that encompasses astronomy, biology, geology, heliophysics, and planetary science, including complementary laboratory activities and field studies conducted in a wide range of terrestrial environments. Combining inherent scientific interest and public appeal, the search for life in the solar system and beyond provides a scientific rationale for many current and future activities carried out by the National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA) and other national and international agencies and organizations.

Astrogeology

Water-bearing Minerals Discovered On Asteroid Bennu

Water-bearing Minerals Discovered On Asteroid Bennu

A Southwest Research Institute-led team discovered evidence of abundant water-bearing minerals on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Could Warn Of Extraterrestrial Life

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Could Warn Of Extraterrestrial Life

Carbon monoxide detectors in our homes warn of a dangerous buildup of that colorless, odorless gas we normally associate with death.

Extrasolar Planets

Searching for Exosatellites Orbiting L and T Dwarfs: Connecting Planet Formation to Moon Formation and Finding New Temperate Worlds

Searching for Exosatellites Orbiting L and T Dwarfs: Connecting Planet Formation to Moon Formation and Finding New Temperate Worlds

L-type and T-type dwarfs span the boundaries between main-sequence stars, brown dwarfs, and planetary-mass objects.

Extrasolar Planets

The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-Sized Planets Orbiting a Nearby M-dwarf

The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-Sized Planets Orbiting a Nearby M-dwarf

We report the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of three terrestrial-sized planets transiting L 98-59 (TOI-175, TIC 307210830) -- a bright M dwarf at a distance of 10.6 pc.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Rethinking CO Antibiosignatures In The Search For Life Beyond The Solar System

Rethinking CO Antibiosignatures In The Search For Life Beyond The Solar System

Some atmospheric gases have been proposed as counter indicators to the presence of life on an exoplanet if remotely detectable at sufficient abundance (i.e., antibiosignatures), informing the search for biosignatures and potentially fingerprinting uninhabited habitats.

More top stories from March.