New Method for Detecting Signs of Life In the Universe A classic “biosignature,” or sign of life, is the presence of three gasses in a planet’s atmosphere -- oxygen, ozone, and methane.

by Marc Claire Research Scientist Detecting life on a planet beyond Earth would be one of the coolest things ever! In our paper, we talk about detecting signs of life on other planets that breathe out oxygen. While this strategy READ MORE

Dust, Not Aliens, Causing Unusual Star Light on Tabby’s Star Scientists ran several computer simulations to determine the most likely explanation.

Tabby’s Star, located 1,276 light years from Earth and named for its discoverer Tabetha S. Boyajian, created quite a buzz among astronomers when it was found in 2009 by the Kepler Space Observatory. It glowed a yellowish white and had READ MORE

A Space-Age Rat Cage Helps NASA Study Health in Low Gravity This new development allows rodents to survive long enough to visit the International Space Station.

When the NASA Space Shuttle was flying, it carried a variety of scientific equipment for running experiments. One of these devices was an enclosure for mice and rats. This equipment was used to test the effects of extremely low gravity READ MORE

Could Life Thrive on Radiation? Scientists Say It’s Possible Instead of sunlight, living things may be able to harness the energy from cosmic rays.

All life on Earth survives because of the sun. Plants use a process called photosynthesis to transfer energy from the Sun’s rays into the sugars that build their stems and leaves. Animals either eat the plants directly, or eat other READ MORE

Kepler discovers the first planet believed to be very similar to Earth

1992 First exoplanet to orbit a main sequence star is discovered by Aleksander Wolszczan. The first confirmed exoplanet is a ‘hot Jupiter’ which takes 4.2-day to go around its sun. 51Pegasi b. 2005 New Zealand’s Grant Christie and Jenny McCormick discover the second planet found READ MORE

What Causes Ice Ages? A New Proposal. Ice ages in the Southern Hemisphere are influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide

A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world — changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced READ MORE

When Dolphins Learned to Swim Convergent evolution in land to sea transitions in marine predators across major mass extinctions

For more than 250 million years, four-limbed land animals known as tetrapods have repeatedly conquered the Earth’s oceans. These creatures–such as plesiosaurs, penguins and sea turtles–descended from separate groups of terrestrial vertebrates that convergently evolved to thrive in aquatic environments. READ MORE

Hydrofracturing in the Greenland Ice Sheet New meltwater is not likely to further lubricate the Greenland Ice Sheet waterslide

Surface meltwater regularly travels to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lubricates the flow of the ice into the ocean, but new research indicates that future increasing volumes of this meltwater are unlikely to speed the flow of READ MORE