okt 282013
 
Carbon Worlds Likely Bone-Dry and Lifeless

  Planets rich in carbon, including so-called diamond planets, may lack oceans, according to NASA-funded theoretical research.  This artist’s concept illustrates the fate of two different planets: the one on the left is similar to Earth, made up largely of silicate-based rocks with oceans coating its surface. The one on the right is rich in [continue reading]

jan 212013
 
Martian Crater May Once Have Held Groundwater-Fed Lake

  A NASA spacecraft is providing new evidence of a wet underground environment on Mars that adds to an increasingly complex picture of the Red Planet’s early evolution. This view of layered rocks on the floor of McLaughlin Crater shows sedimentary rocks that contain spectroscopic evidence for minerals formed through interaction with water. Image Credit: [continue reading]

jan 162013
 
Life Also Possible on Exomoons

  In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the Solar System. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets. Artist’s conception of two extrasolar moons orbiting a giant gaseous planet. Image Credit: [continue reading]

nov 212012
 
Planets Around White and Brown Dwarfs Probably Don't Support Life

  Astronomers find planets in strange places and wonder if they might support life. One such place would be in orbit around a white or brown dwarf. While neither is a star like the Sun, both glow and so could be orbited by planets with the right ingredients for life. A comparison between the white [continue reading]

nov 082012
 
Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Found in our Neighborhood

  An Anglo-German team of astronomers has discovered a new planet orbiting a nearby star at just the right distance for an Earth-like climate that could support life. This artist’s impression shows HD40307 g in the foreground (on the left hand side), with its host star HD40307 and two other planets in the system (on [continue reading]