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  • November 18, 2016
  • 09:31 AM

Is anybody out there? Talking to the Galactic Zookeepers

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

The Zoo Hypothesis Hello? Anybody out there in the starry skies? If there are extra-terrestrial civilizations, why haven’t we heard from them yet? The sheer magnitude of the universe with its billions upon billions of stars has led many to suggest that life must have arisen more than once in the cosmos. Some have gone […]... Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 08:28 AM

An equation for life

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Water churns. Earth moves. Molecules jostle and chemicals mix. Between heaven and hell, a young planet finds itself in full flux. Developing. Forming. Star stuff rains down and forged elements bubble up. Then it happens. It seems as if it’s just another chemical match-up, another reaction in the vast library of possibilities. But it would […]... Read more »

Scharf C, & Cronin L. (2016) Quantifying the origins of life on a planetary scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 27382156  

  • May 3, 2016
  • 08:39 AM

Flipping the Drake Equation for a deep time perspective on the Fermi Paradox

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Is anybody out there? Where are all the alien civilizations? Even if (intelligent) life is very unlikely, the sheer size and age of the universe means that even long odds might have produced space faring civilizations. Yet, so far, nada. When people are considering the (im)probability of non-human space travellers, one thing always comes up: […]... Read more »

  • March 18, 2015
  • 07:43 PM

How alien cell membranes could form in methane seas

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Scientist identify 'azotosomes' - short carbon chains with a nitrogen terminus native to the atmosphere of Titan which can potentially self-assemble into bilayers in liquid methane.... Read more »

  • March 16, 2015
  • 03:03 AM

Life on places other than the Earth

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying” (Arthur C. Clarke)

Life on Earth is a common thing. Life on clouds and in water looks interesting. And life on places other than the Earth (extraterrestrial life) looks…ummmm…possible. In this article, I will try to note some information ranging from hypothesis to scientific information related to the life on places other than Earth.

The Drake Equation

In........ Read more »

McKay, C., Anbar, A., Porco, C., & Tsou, P. (2014) Follow the Plume: The Habitability of Enceladus. Astrobiology, 14(4), 352-355. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2014.1158  

  • January 21, 2015
  • 08:24 AM

Space Exploration 2.0

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Redefining space exploration: SpaceX's crazy week in the private space race. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 12:43 PM

Solving a 30-Year-Old Problem in High Mass Star Formation

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Some 30 years ago, astronomers found that regions of ionized gas around young high mass stars remain small (under a third of a light-year) for ten times longer than they should if they were to expand as expected in simple models. Recent supercomputer simulations predicted that these regions actually flicker in brightness over this period … Read More →... Read more »

C. G. De Pree, T. Peters, M.-M. Mac Low, D. J. Wilner, W. M. Goss, R. Galván-Madrid, E. R. Keto, R. S. Klessen, & A. Monsrud. (2014) Flickering of 1.3 cm Sources in Sgr B2: Toward a Solution to the Ultracompact H II Region Lifetime Problem. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 781(L36). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/781/2/L36  

  • November 5, 2013
  • 08:43 AM

What White Dwarfs Can Tell Us About the Universe

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Researchers from Europe and the U.S. have ruled out a multitude of possible parameters for dark photons – a type of dark matter and energy – with the help of white dwarfs. In some aspects, the shining of these dying stars gives more information on dark forces than is provided by earth-based laboratories. The journal … Read More →... Read more »

Herbert K. Dreiner, Jean-François Fortin, Jordi Isern, & Lorenzo Ubaldi. (2013) White Dwarfs constrain Dark Forces. Phys. Rev. D, 88(4). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.88.043517  

  • October 25, 2013
  • 12:40 PM

What Aliens From Another World Will Look Like

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Invading aliens from outer space won’t look like a Lady Gaga zombie or creatures with serious nasal drip problems. Top planetary scientists have now come up with different sketches of how aliens might appear. Here, then, are what real aliens will most likely look like if they drop on your house. First, the alien won’t … Read More →... Read more »

Cosmovici, C., Pluchino, S., Salerno, E., Montebugnoli, S., Zoni, L., & Bartolini, M. (2007) Radio Search for Water in Exo-Planetary Systems. Extreme Solar Systems, 33. info:/

  • October 16, 2013
  • 11:45 AM

How the Largest Known Star is Tearing Itself Apart

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

An international team of astronomers has observed part of the final death throes of the largest known star in the Universe as it throws off its outer layers. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from the UK, Chile, Germany and the USA, is a vital step in understanding how massive stars return enriched material … Read More →... Read more »

Nicholas J. Wright, Roger Wesson, Janet E. Drew, Geert Barentsen, Michael J. Barlow, Jeremy R. Walsh, Albert Zijlstra, Jeremy J. Drake, Jochen Eisloffel, & Hywel J. Farnhill. (2013) The Ionized Nebula surrounding the Red Supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. arXiv: 1309.4086v1

  • October 1, 2013
  • 10:32 AM

New Estimate of Amount of Water on Surface of Mars

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

NASA’s rover Curiosity, which landed on the surface of Mars on 6 August 2012, has led to more detailed estimates of the amount of water on the Martian surface. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is part of the NASA research team. A study published in the magazine Science on 27 September reveals that according to observations made by … Read More →... Read more »

  • September 26, 2013
  • 11:53 AM

Mapping Clouds on Exoplanet Kepler-7b

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

An international team, with participation from the University of Bern, has produced the first map of clouds on an exoplanet using the Kepler Space Telescope. Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets is the path towards ultimately identifying life elsewhere in the Universe. Understanding the role of clouds in exoplanet atmospheres is a necessary ingredient in the … Read More →... Read more »

Kevin Heng, & Brice-Olivier Demory. (2013) Understanding Trends Associated with Clouds in Irradiated Exoplanets. Astrohysical Journal. arXiv: 1309.5956v1

  • May 2, 2013
  • 10:50 AM

Meteorites May Reveal Mars’ Secrets of Life

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago. And although this team’s work is not specifically solving the mystery, it is laying … Read More →... Read more »

  • October 18, 2012
  • 11:42 AM

Searching for Extraterrestrial Microbes

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Locating thermophiles in other parts of the universe could very well aid in the search for extraterrestrial life. Most people have agreed that if life is found among the stars, it will be microbial (at least in the near-term future). Many individuals have also suggested that intelligent life forms might very well be extinct in [...]... Read more »

  • September 17, 2012
  • 02:27 AM

What Microfossils Found in Meteorites Can Tell Us

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

While most people associate the term microfossil with the strange ALH 84001 object, there are plenty of other more concrete examples of tiny fossilized organisms. Research conducted with scanning electron microscope equipment has created a wide array of scientific literature regarding these small remains of living organisms. While marine objects don’t necessary have anything to [...]... Read more »

  • September 11, 2012
  • 05:13 PM

How Genetics Shape Our Addictions

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Have you ever wondered why some people find it so much easier to stop smoking than others? New research (cited below) shows that vulnerability to smoking addiction is shaped by our genes. A study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University shows that people with genetically fast nicotine metabolism have [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2012
  • 06:05 PM

how do we find relativistic alien rockets?

by Greg Fish in weird things

Say that somewhere out there is a species of space-faring aliens which have relativistic rockets or warp drive technology that lets it travel between solar systems. Considering the sheer size of the universe, it's probably a good bet that at least one exists. And as these aliens are tooling around, their spacecraft will likely leave [...]... Read more »

Garcia-Escartin, J.C., & Chamorro-Posada, P. (2012) Scouting the spectrum for interstellar travellers. n/a. arXiv: 1203.3980v1

  • August 24, 2011
  • 08:14 PM

Astrobiology: Where’s the Bacon?

by sarah in One Small Step

  The presence of life in the Universe has titillated scientists for centuries. The explosion of exoplanet discoveries throughout our Galaxy and beyond in the last 15 years has allowed philosophical exploration to turn into real science. Research in astrobiology, “the study of the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe” by [...]

... Read more »

Chyba, C., & Hand, K. (2005) ASTROBIOLOGY: The Study of the Living Universe. Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 43(1), 31-74. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.astro.43.051804.102202  

Kaltenegger L, Selsis F, Fridlund M, Lammer H, Beichman C, Danchi W, Eiroa C, Henning T, Herbst T, Léger A.... (2010) Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets. Astrobiology, 10(1), 89-102. PMID: 20307185  

L. Kaltenegger, & D. Sasselov. (2011) Exploring the Habitable Zone for Kepler planetary candidates. ApJ. arXiv: 1105.0861v2

  • August 5, 2011
  • 03:52 PM

Evidence of flowing water on Mars?

by Arunn in nOnoScience (a.k.a. Unruled Notebook)

Nasa reports first evidence of flowing water on Mars says Times of India. NASA better report the evidence now. They actually do report it, but with a good amount of reservation — so unlike of them, if you ask their Arsenic Bacteria – with a title reading, NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing On Mars. [...]... Read more »

McEwen, A., Ojha, L., Dundas, C., Mattson, S., Byrne, S., Wray, J., Cull, S., Murchie, S., Thomas, N., & Gulick, V. (2011) Seasonal Flows on Warm Martian Slopes. Science, 333(6043), 740-743. DOI: 10.1126/science.1204816  

  • July 7, 2011
  • 04:00 PM

Cassini helps us peek underneath the surface of Enceladus

by Kelly Oakes in Basic Space

The Cassini spacecraft is zooming around Saturn as I type, currently in between two flybys of Saturn’s moon Titan – one was in June, the next will be September. It was supposed to explore Saturn and its moons for only four years between 2004 and 2008.... Read more »

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