Earth-like? Or not.... (Image:PHL @ UPR Arecibo, ESA/Hubble, NASA) This year has been a spectacular one for exoplanets. New discoveries and new insights have truly pushed the gateway to other worlds even further open. In the past 12 months we've gained increasingly good statistics on the incredible abundance of planets around other stars and their multiplicity...
Here come the microbes! (Credit: China Foto Press/Barcroft Medi) Cover your mouth when you cough!We've all learned the hard way that microbial organisms, from bacteria to viruses, can be transported by air...
Life in all it's glory... (Credit: C. Scharf) It's been a busy season for research that comes in under the astrobiology umbrella, here's a smattering of some of the more interesting recent discoveries and studies. The youngest solar system....so far...
This post is something a little different from the usual.I just spent an enjoyable few days filming for a BBC Horizon documentary on the modern story of black holes, and their role in galactic astrophysics (a tale told in part in my book Gravity's Engines)...
This is simply too good to pass up, although it's been doing the rounds online. As the seasons change on Saturn the north polar region is now getting its share of faint solar illumination...
What would the landscapes of Mars look like under a different light?Getting an accurate visual sense of the rocks and minerals on the martian surface is important for a number of reasons...
The galaxy NGC 1365 aglow with H-alpha light that tends to show star forming zones(Credit: ESO) They really are.The universe is apparently well past its prime in terms of making stars, and what new ones are being made now across the cosmos will never amount to more than a few percent on top of the numbers already come and gone.This is the rather disquieting conclusion of a new and significant study of the rate at which stars have been produced through cosmic time...
Once upon a time on Mars... (Credit: USGS/R. Fournier) To understand Mars we need to understand its on-again off-again tango with liquid water. It's not just the search for past or present life on Mars that hinges on this, but the search for a complete chemical, geophysical, and climatological history of the red planet...
Sitting here in New York after a night of listening to the roar of hurricane Sandy I, along with everyone else here, am feeling a little bit worn. And I'm lucky, many people are still in the midst of dealing with a very real disaster in the city and the states up and down the Eastern seaboard of the US...
More interesting than the weather (Credit: Steve Jurveston) Our remarkable species has existed in its present form for about 100,000 years. That's about 0.0025% of the total time that we think life has existed on this planet...
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