Kepler-452b is currently the best example of an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, a type of planet whose number of detections is expected to increase in the future….
In a unique experiment, scientists used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to study two “hot Jupiter” exoplanets. Because these planets are virtually the same size and temperature, and orbit around nearly identical stars at the same distance, the team hypothesized that…
In late spring 2015, the West Coast of North America experienced one of the most toxic algal blooms on record. A new study shows that, at least in Monterey Bay, California, the diatoms in this bloom became particularly toxic because of an unusually low ratio of silicate to nitrate in the waters of the bay.
Hydroxylamine (NH2OH) is one of the potential precursors of complex pre-biotic species in space. Here we present a detailed experimental study of hydroxylamine formation through nitric oxide (NO) surface hydrogenation for astronomically relevant conditions….
The origin of animals was one of the most important events in the history of Earth. Beautifully preserved fossil embryos suggest that our oldest ancestors might have existed a little more than half a billion years ago….
Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica — called “halos”– has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed….
One longstanding problem for the potential habitability of planets within M dwarf systems is their likelihood to be tidally locked in a synchronously rotating spin state. This problem thus far has largely been addressed only by considering two objects: the…
The TRAPPIST-1, Proxima Centauri, and LHS 1140 systems are the most exciting prospects for future follow-up observations of potentially inhabited planets. All orbit nearby M-stars and are likely tidally locked in 1:1 spin-orbit states, which motivates the consideration of the…
Transmission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres have been used to infer the presence of clouds/hazes. Such inferences are typically based on spectral slopes in the optical deviant from gaseous Rayleigh scattering or low-amplitude spectral features in the infrared….
A new study finds that during Greenland’s hottest summers on record, 2010 and 2012, the ice in Rink Glacier on the island’s west coast didn’t just melt faster than usual, it slid through the glacier’s interior in a gigantic wave, like a warmed freezer pop sliding out of its plastic casing. The wave persisted for four months, with ice from upstream continuing to move down to replace the missing mass for at least four more months.