nov 032012
 
Does Little Methane on Mars Mean It Was Never Habitable?

  NASA’s car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere.  If the atmosphere of Mars contains methane, various possibilities have been proposed for where the methane could come from and how it could disappear.  Potential non-biological sources for methane on Mars include comets, degradation [continue reading]

sep 302012
 
Curiosity Finds Old Streambed on Mars

  NASA’s Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence — images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels — is the first of its kind. NASA’s Curiosity rover [continue reading]

sep 102012
 
Habitable Planets Could Be Much More Widespread Than Thought

  A new scientific model to understand the amount of our Universe which is habitable developed by University of Aberdeen scientists was announced on September 7 at the British Science Festival, one of Europe’s largest science festivals that regularly attracts over 350 of the UK’s top scientists and speakers to discuss the latest developments in science with [continue reading]

sep 082012
 
Composition of Star Determines the Habitability of Planets

  A star’s internal chemistry can doom a planet’s life long before the star itself dies A new study by Arizona State University researchers suggests that the host star’s chemical makeup can also impact conditions of habitability of planets that orbit them. Image Credit: NASA The search for potentially habitable planets involves discussion of what [continue reading]

aug 032012
 
On Evaporating Super-Earths it's Raining Pebbles

  Simulations of the vaporization of Earth-like planets tell planet-hunting astronomers what to look for in the atmospheres of candidate super-Earths. Scientists at Washington University have simulated the atmospheres of hot Earth-like planets, such as CoRoT-7b, shown here in an artist’s conception. CoRoT-7b orbits so close to its star that its starward side is an [continue reading]