Habitable Zones & Global Climate

UV Surface Environment of Earth-like Planets Orbiting FGKM Stars Through Geological Evolution

UV Surface Environment of Earth-like Planets Orbiting FGKM Stars Through Geological Evolution

The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life.

Extrasolar Planets

Giant Comet-like Tail Discovered on Small Exoplanet

Giant Comet-like Tail Discovered on Small Exoplanet

The prospect of finding ocean-bearing exoplanets has been boosted, thanks to a pioneering new study. An international team of scientists, including from the University of Exeter, has discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen escaping from a Neptune-sized exoplanet.

Extrasolar Planets

Effect of UV Radiation on the Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Orbiting M dwarfs

Effect of UV Radiation on the Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Orbiting M dwarfs

We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with Teff = 2300K to Teff = 3800K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data.

Habitable Zones & Global Climate

Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Planets in the Habitable Zone of M-Dwarf Stars

Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Planets in the Habitable Zone of M-Dwarf Stars

Understanding whether M-dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research.

Extrasolar Planets

Origin and Stability of Exomoon Atmospheres: Implications for Habitability

Origin and Stability of Exomoon Atmospheres: Implications for Habitability

We study the origin and escape of catastrophically outgassed volatiles (H2O, CO2) from exomoons with Earth-like densities and masses of 0.1M⊕, 0.5M⊕ and 1M⊕ orbiting an extra-solar gas giant inside the habitable zone of a young active solar-like star.

Astrochemistry

Simulating the Synthesis of Amino Acids in Meteorite Parent Bodies

Simulating the Synthesis of Amino Acids in Meteorite Parent Bodies

Carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are known for having high water and organic material contents, including amino acids.

Europa

Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

Polymerization of Building Blocks of Life on Europa and Other Icy Moons

The outer solar system may provide a potential habitat for extraterrestrial life. Remote sensing data from the Galileo spacecraft suggest that the jovian icy moons, Europa, Ganymede, and possibly Callisto, may harbor liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts.

Mars

Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

Outgassing History and Escape of the Martian Atmosphere and Water Inventory

The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet's water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet's origin and lasted ∼500 Myr.

Biosignatures & Paleobiology

Nonphotosynthetic Pigments Could Be Biosignatures of Life on Other Worlds

Nonphotosynthetic Pigments Could Be Biosignatures of Life on Other Worlds

To find life in the universe, it helps to know what it might look like. If there are organisms on other planets that do not rely wholly on photosynthesis -- as some on Earth do not -- how might those worlds appear from light-years away?

Titan

Titan's Atmosphere Even More Earth-like than Previously Thought

Titan's Atmosphere Even More Earth-like than Previously Thought

Scientists at UCL have observed how a widespread polar wind is driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

Europa

All Systems Go for NASA's Mission to Europa

All Systems Go for NASA's Mission to Europa

Beyond Earth, Jupiter's moon Europa is considered one of the most promising places in the solar system to search for signs of present-day life, and a new NASA mission to explore this potential is moving forward from concept review to development.

More top stories from July.