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E.g., 12/16/2017
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Your search has returned 35 articles:
  • News

    Young sun’s super solar flares helped set early Earth up for life

    Solar outbursts may have supplied early Earth with the right stuff for life.

    Based on telescope observations of young sunlike stars, researchers estimate that “super” solar flares bombarded Earth with energetic particles at least once a day around 4 billion years ago. Collisions between the particles and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere produced nitrous oxide, a planet-warming greenhouse...

    05/23/2016 - 11:00 Astronomy, Climate, Astrobiology
  • Editor's Note

    Trying to find ET and our place in the universe

    Toddlers, I know from experience, believe themselves to be very, very special — the center, in fact, of the entire universe. With maturity, however, most of us learn that we are not quite as special as we thought. Other people are important, too.

    It’s similar with Earthlings in general. As humans have learned about the size of the cosmos (and our not-so-central place in it), we...

    04/20/2016 - 11:46 Astrobiology, Exoplanets, Astronomy, History of Science
  • Feature

    How alien can a planet be and still support life?

    Just how fantastical a planet can be and still support recognizable life isn’t just a question for science fiction. Astronomers are searching the stars for otherworldly inhabitants, and they need a road map. Which planets are most likely to harbor life? That’s where geoscientists’ imaginations come in. Applying their knowledge of how our world works and what allows life to flourish, they are...

    04/19/2016 - 13:00 Planetary Science, Earth, Astrobiology
  • Feature

    New telescopes will search for signs of life on distant planets

    View the slideshow

    Our galaxy is teeming with planets. Over the last 25 years, astronomers have cataloged about 2,000 worlds in 1,300 systems scattered around our stellar neighborhood. While most of these exoplanets look nothing like Earth (and in some cases, like nothing that orbits our sun), the bonanza of alien worlds implies a tantalizing possibility: There is a lot of real estate...

    04/19/2016 - 09:00 Astronomy, Exoplanets, Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Feature

    Will we know extraterrestrial life when we see it?

    View the video

    In a 1967 episode of Star Trek, Captain Kirk and crew investigated the mysterious murders of miners on the planet Janus VI. The killer, it turned out, was a rock monster called the Horta. But the Enterprise’s sensors hadn’t registered any signs of life in the creature. The Horta was a silicon-based life-form, rather than carbon-based like living things on Earth.

    ...

    04/18/2016 - 12:00 Astrobiology, Cells, Microbiology
  • To Do

    Human evolution, biomimicry and more go on display

    Human Evolution galleryNow open

    This new, permanent display marches through 7 million years of hominid history; highlights include a 3.5-million-year-old tooth from Tanzania, a Neandertal skull and the world’s oldest known wooden spear.

    NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM IN LONDONStratospheric Balloons Over AntarcticaFebruary 2, 2016

    In this free public lecture, a physicist will explain how he uses...

    01/18/2016 - 14:00 Science & Society, Human Evolution, Astrobiology, Biophysics
  • Feature

    Year in review: Best evidence yet for water on Mars

    There’s water on Mars. Yes, again.

    In the most highly publicized Mars discovery of the year, NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft had spotted hydrated salt minerals on the Red Planet (SN: 10/31/15, p. 17). The salty streaks appear in the same places as dark, hillside marks that lengthen and shrink with the Martian seasons. Brine probably oozes from the steep...

    12/15/2015 - 06:53 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • Film

    'The Martian' is entertaining science fiction rooted in fact

    Watch the trailer

    Scientists are used to suspending disbelief when they go to movies. But The Martian, opening October 2, offers a mostly realistic view of conditions astronauts might encounter on Mars.

    The movie “is a vision of a future we can step into and make happen,” says Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division and a science adviser to director Ridley Scott....

    09/22/2015 - 13:30 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News

    Best cosmic ‘cradles of life’ may be elliptical in shape

    There’s plenty of real estate in the universe, but some neighborhoods are more desirable than others.

    Giant elliptical galaxies that are more than twice as massive as the Milky Way are far more likely to harbor habitable worlds, researchers suggest. These galactic giants can produce up to 10,000 times as many Earthlike planets as our galaxy, astrophysicist Pratika Dayal and colleagues...

    07/24/2015 - 07:00 Astrobiology, Exoplanets
  • News in Brief

    Search for E.T. gets financial boost

    First contact with an alien civilization might now be in the hands of a Russian billionaire.

    Yuri Milner, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, is throwing $100 million at the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Powerful radio and optical telescopes will be drafted to listen and look for interstellar broadcasts, Milner announced July 20 at a news conference in London. The data...

    07/20/2015 - 17:45 Astrobiology, Astronomy, Exoplanets