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Astrobiology Strategic Plan Milestone
Astrobiology Strategic Plan Milestone
The NASA Astrobiology Strategy process has reached an important milestone. The concept documents, which were created at the Wallops Island workshop, are now ready for public comment.Read More...
Mars Rover Provides Clues to Mars' Past Atmosphere
Mars Rover Provides Clues to Mars' Past Atmosphere
New results from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on NASA's Curiosity rover reveal new clues about the atmospheric composition on Mars, and about how the planet lost much of its original atmosphere.Read More...
New Evidence for a Martian Ocean
New Evidence for a Martian Ocean
Scientists studying data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have discovered new evidence that Mars may have once had a vast ocean on its surface.Read More...
Water on Moon's Surface Hints at Water Below
Water on Moon's Surface Hints at Water Below
Scientists supported by NASA have detected water locked in mineral grains on the Moon.Read More...
Solar System's Youth Gives Clues to Planet Search
Solar System's Youth Gives Clues to Planet Search
Modeling results show where the injected gas and dust ended ups only 34 years after being injected at the disk's surface. It was injected 9 astronomical units from the central prostar and is now in the disk's midplane.Read More...
Happy Anniversary, Spitzer!
Happy Anniversary, Spitzer!
NASA Astrobiology celebrates the 10th anniversary of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and is grateful for all the contributions it has made to astrobiology!Read More...
Exploring the World of Life Underground
Exploring the World of Life Underground
Jan Amend, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC Dornsife, leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers in an investigation into what life teems within Earth's subsurface biosphere.Read More...
Ancient Snowfall on Mars
Ancient Snowfall on Mars
A new study supported in part by NASA has identified a potential origin for ancient water on Mars that was responsible for carving valley networks that branch across the planet's surfaceRead More...
Ice and Extrasolar Planet Climate
Ice and Extrasolar Planet Climate
In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars.Read More...
Serpentinization of Ocean Crust: Life's Mother Engine?
Serpentinization of Ocean Crust: Life's Mother Engine?
In a new study published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, NAI-funded scientists advance a theory about life's origins based on the idea of "reservoir-mediated energy."Read More...
2014 Astrobiology Strategic Plan
2014 Astrobiology Strategic Plan
The NASA Astrobiology Program is presently engaged in creating a 2014 Strategic Plan.Read More...
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Six
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Six
This is the final part of a series telling the story of humankind's efforts to understand the origins of life and potential for life on other worlds by studying organisms that survive deep below Earth's oceans around hydrothermal vents.Read More...
Searching For Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Five
Searching For Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Five
This is Part Five of a six-part series telling the story of humankind's efforts to understand the origins of life, by looking for it in extreme environments where life thrives without relying on the Sun as an energy source.Read More...
The Supernova that Shaped the Solar System
The Supernova that Shaped the Solar System
Astrobiologists have made a 'shocking' discovery about the evolution of the early Solar System. When they analyzed small particles in meteorites, they discovered products left over from the decay of radioactive iron-60.Read More...
Searching For Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Four
Searching For Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Four
This is Part Four of a six-part series telling the story of humankind's efforts to understand the origins of life and the potential for life on other worlds by studying organisms that survive deep below Earth's oceans around hydrothermal vents.Read More...
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Three
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Three
This is Part Three of a six-part series telling the story of humankind's efforts to understand the origins of life by studying organisms that survive deep below Earth's oceans around hydrothermal vents.Read More...
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Two
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part Two
In Part Two of this six-part series, we follow Chris German and his team to the Mid-Cayman Rise in search of life that survives at hydrothermal vents deep below the ocean.Read More...
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part One
Searching for Life Where the Sun Don't Shine, Part One
This is Part 1 of a 6-part series that tells the story of humankind's efforts to understand the origins of life by looking for it in extreme environments where life survives without relying on energy from the Sun.Read More...
Seeking Signs of Life at the Glacier's Edge
Seeking Signs of Life at the Glacier's Edge
Microbes living at the edges of Arctic ice sheets could help researchers pinpoint evidence for similar microorganisms that could have evolved on Mars, the Jovian moon Europa, or Saturn's moon Enceladus.Read More...
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
Research... at a Glance
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
A drilling project into the Chesapeake Bay impact structure has found evidence that the subsurface may become more habitable after a large impactRead More...
NASA and Library of Congress Select First Astrobiology Chair
NASA and Library of Congress Select First Astrobiology Chair
NASA and the Library of Congress have announced the selection of David H. Grinspoon to be the first Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.Read More...
How Deep Must Life Hide to Be Safe on Europa?
How Deep Must Life Hide to Be Safe on Europa?
Jupiter's icy moon Europa is subject to constant and significant blasts of radiation. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are now attempting to determine how deep life must lay beneath the moon's crust in order to survive.Read More...
Raindrops in Rock
Raindrops in Rock
A new study published in Nature from NASA's Exobiology and Evoluationary Biology program investigators and their colleagues looks at fossilized raindrops and what they indicate about conditions on the early Earth.Read More...
Organics Probably Formed Easily in Early Solar System
Organics Probably Formed Easily in Early Solar System
Complex organic compounds, including many important to life on Earth, were readily produced under conditions that likely prevailed in the primordial solar system.Read More...
Is it Snowing Microbes on Enceladus?
Is it Snowing Microbes on Enceladus?
March 27, 2012: There's a tiny moon orbiting beyond Saturn's rings that's full of promise, and maybe -- just maybe -- microbes.Read More...
Follow the Uranium
Follow the Uranium
Researchers funded by NASA's Astrobiology Institute and Exobiology Program have developed a novel geochemical tool that compares the partitioning of uranium isotopes from seawater into carbonates.Read More...
Jupiter's
Jupiter's "Grand Tack" Reshaped the Solar System
Jupiter, long settled in its position as the fifth planet from our sun, was a rolling stone in its youth.Read More...
Amino Acid Alphabet Soup
Amino Acid Alphabet Soup
For more than 3 billion years, organisms on Earth have relied on a standard set of 20 amino acids to build the proteins that carry out life's essential actions. But did it have to be this way?Read More...
Out of Thin Martian Air
Out of Thin Martian Air
Mars has lost an ocean's worth of water, but to find where it all went will take satellites and computer models working in conjunction.Read More...
Software on the Fly
Research... at a Glance
Software on the Fly
Much of the activity that enables the Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) to explore remote lakes in British Columbia relies on a software system known as xGDS (Exploration Ground Data System).Read More...
NASA Research Shows DNA Building Blocks Can Be Made in Space
NASA Research Shows DNA Building Blocks Can Be Made in Space
NASA-funded researchers have found more evidence meteorites can carry DNA components created in space.Read More...
NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars
NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars
Observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars.Read More...
Diving in the Rain
Research... at a Glance
Diving in the Rain
Members of the Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) have been studying unique structures on the floor of Canada's Kelly Lake as part of their 2011 field season.Read More...
Save the Date: AbSciCon 2012
Save the Date: AbSciCon 2012
The next Astrobiology Science Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA from April 16-20, 2012. Sign up now to receive conference updates.Read More...
A New Look at the Sulfur Cycle
A New Look at the Sulfur Cycle
The record of Earth's sulfur cycle preserved in sedimentary rocks is commonly used to track the evolution of microbial sulfur metabolisms and levels of atmospheric oxygen throughout geologic history.Read More...
Go Jump in a Lake
Research... at a Glance
Go Jump in a Lake
The main work of the Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) involves the exploration of Kelly Lake with piloted submersible vehicles. But team members are also performing scientific experiments using methods that are a bit more 'low-tech.'Read More...
Off to a Rocky Start
Off to a Rocky Start
Engineers and technicians have placed a barge in British Columbia's Kelly Lake, from which submersibles will be launched to explore the depths of the lake.Read More...
Deliberate Delay
Research... at a Glance
Deliberate Delay
Researchers at Kelly Lake in British Columbia have been testing mission scenarios to simulate communication with explorers during travel to a near-Earth asteroid.Read More...
Islands of Life: On Yungay Salar
Islands of Life: On Yungay Salar
Chile's Atacama desert has provided a great deal of information about how life on Earth is able to survive in harsh conditions. An area known as 'Yungay salar' is where bacteria were first discovered living inside halite (salt) rocks.Read More...
Mapping Microbialites
Mapping Microbialites
Microbialites, strange carbonate structures that line the bottom of Pavilion Lake in British Columbia, Canada, come in many shapes and sizes. No-one knows why.Read More...
Islands of Life, Part 2
Islands of Life, Part 2
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile has long been utilized by astrobiologists as an analog environment for ancient Mars. Here, even bacteria have a hard time surviving.Read More...
Planetary Lake Lander Project Update:  Getting Acquainted
Research... at a Glance
Planetary Lake Lander Project Update: Getting Acquainted
These representations of the three decadal values are shown to capture the dramatic environmental change that occurred during the 90s.Read More...
Cycling Nitrogen in Ancient Oceans
Cycling Nitrogen in Ancient Oceans
In recent years, scientists have found evidence that a 'near complete' biological nitrogen cycle existed in the oceans during the late Archean to early Proterozoic (from 2.5 to 2 billion years ago).Read More...
National Geographic
National Geographic "Emerging Explorer" Kevin Hand
The best chance of discovering life beyond Earth may not be where you'd expect. Today's weather forecast for Europa, Jupiter's fourth largest moon, is 280 degrees below Fahrenheit- and astrobiologist Kevin Hand can hardly wait to get there.Read More...
Islands of Life, Part 1
Islands of Life, Part 1
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is one of the driest places on our planet, and astrobiologists have long studied this unique location as an analog environment for ancient Mars.Read More...
Thermophiles Lurking in your Basement
Thermophiles Lurking in your Basement
Exotic life forms may be lurking in your home, and a new citizen science project seeks to find them.Read More...
A Hot, Acidic Primordial Soup
A Hot, Acidic Primordial Soup
A new study has revealed that a group of ancient enzymes adapted to substantial changes in ocean temperature and acidity during the last four billion years.Read More...
A Tale of Two Deserts
A Tale of Two Deserts
All life as we know it needs water. But what organisms can survive when water is all but unavailable? To find out, one scientist is looking at soil from two of the driest places on Earth.Read More...
The Importance of Being Magnetized
The Importance of Being Magnetized
Despite its magnetic field, Earth is losing its atmosphere to space at about the same rate as planets that lack this protective barrier against the solar wind.Read More...
The Ribosome: Structure, Function & Evolution
Research... at a Glance
The Ribosome: Structure, Function & Evolution
The 2011 Suddath Symposium on the Ribosome at Georgia Tech brings together researchers who are exploring various aspects of ribosome structure and function.Read More...
Final Stages of Earth, Moon, Mars Formation
Final Stages of Earth, Moon, Mars Formation
A new study in a recent issue of Science from NAI's NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Team and their colleagues looks at late accretion in the formation of the Earth, Moon, and Mars.Read More...
Building Blocks of Life Created in
Building Blocks of Life Created in "Impossible" Place
Researchers from the NASA Astrobiology Program have discovered amino acids in a meteorite where none were expected.Read More...
Ask an Astrobiologist
Ask an Astrobiologist
Is it possible there is life on other planets? Does NASA have any UFO problems? NASA astrobiologists answer your toughest questions.Read More...
The Origin of Titan's Methane
The Origin of Titan's Methane
Research implies Titan's methane is a primordial chemical species that was accreted by the moon during its formation.Read More...
Could Life on Earth Have Come From Ceres?
Could Life on Earth Have Come From Ceres?
The dwarf planet Ceres is rarely mentioned as a candidate for habitability, but the possible presence of an ocean and hydrothermal vents suggests it is plausible. Could it have seeded the young Earth?Read More...
Examining a SLIce of the Arctic
Research... at a Glance
Examining a SLIce of the Arctic
NASA-funded researchers have trekked to the arctic island of Svalbard in order to study how life survives in ice.Read More...
Carbon Dioxide Discovered on Extrasolar Planet
Research... at a Glance
Carbon Dioxide Discovered on Extrasolar Planet
The discovery of CO2 in the atmosphere of extrasolar planet HD 189733b was announced this week in Nature News.Read More...
Comet Dust Reveals Unexpected Mixing of Solar System Material
Research... at a Glance
Comet Dust Reveals Unexpected Mixing of Solar System Material
A new analysis of dust from the comet Wild 2, collected in 2004 by Stardust, has revealed an oxygen isotope signature that suggests an unexpected mingling of rocky material between the center and edges of the solar system.Read More...
Life Without the Sun
Research... at a Glance
Life Without the Sun
An ecosystem discovered 2.8 kilometers underground in South Africa two years ago has now been shown to comprise only a single species of microbe, existing on energy from radioactivity, completely independently of the Sun.Read More...
Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference
Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference
Astrobiologists, planetary scientists and astronomers joined together for a presentation on the latest information on our expanding understanding of the abodes of life on our planet and the prospect of life beyond Earth.Read More...
New 2008 NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Available
Research... at a Glance
New 2008 NASA Astrobiology Roadmap Available
The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences.Read More...
Silicate Mineralogy on Mars Indicates Wet Past
Research... at a Glance
Silicate Mineralogy on Mars Indicates Wet Past
Using data from the CRISM instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, astrobiologists from NAI's SETI Institute and Marine Biological Laboratory teams present findings of silicate mineralogy.Read More...
Marine Subsurface is a Distinct Microbial Habitat
Research... at a Glance
Marine Subsurface is a Distinct Microbial Habitat
Metagenomic analysis indicates that the subsurface environment is the most unique studied to date, distinct in its microbial make-up from the surface waters.Read More...
Moon Samples Found to Contain Water
Research... at a Glance
Moon Samples Found to Contain Water
Using new techniques, scientists from NAI's Carnegie Institution of Washington Team have discovered for the first time that tiny beads of volcanic glasses collected from two Apollo missions to the Moon contain water.Read More...
Extraterrestrial Nucleobases Found in the Murchison Meteorite
Research... at a Glance
Extraterrestrial Nucleobases Found in the Murchison Meteorite
Carbon-rich meteorites such as the Murchison are thought to be responsible for delivering biologically-relevant organic material to the young Earth.Read More...
NASA's Astrobiology Program:  Life in the Universe
NASA's Astrobiology Program: Life in the Universe
NASA's Astrobiology Program addresses three fundamental questions: How does life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth and, if so, how can we detect it? What is the future of life on Earth and in the universe?Read More...
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Last Updated: 29 Apr 2014