4 items with the tag “detecting life”
NAI 2009 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report
What kind of environments could provide opportunities for life in general and for the advent of complex life specifically to emerge? If there were complex life present, what features would it produce? Could we remotely characterize such habitats and the features of complex life on extrasolar planets light-years away with current and future NASA missions?
These are the three main questions we work on in this part of the project.ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 4.2 6.2 7.2
NAI 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report
The recent discovery of several potentially habitable Super-Earths (planets up to about 10x the mass of our own Earth that could be rocky) and the first nearby super-Earth planets around the habitable Zone of Gl581, has proven that we can already detect potentially habitable planets and makes this research extremely relevant. We model atmospheric spectral signatures, including biosignatures, of known and hypothetical exoplanets that are potentially habitable.
The atmospheric characterization of such Super-Earths and potentially habitable Moons, will allow us to explore the condition on the first detectable rocky exoplanets and potentially characterize the first detectable Habitable Exoplanet.ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 4.2 6.2 7.2
NAI 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report
Using data from Kepler and new ground-based detections, Lisa Kaltenegger and Dimitar Sasselov have identified which confirmed and candidate planets orbit within the Habitable Zone and could provide environments for basic and complex life to develop. They have also developed atmosphere models for extrasolar planetary environments for different geological cycles and varied environments for the advent of complex life. The team modeled detectable spectral features that identify such planetary environments for future NASA missions like the James Webb Space Telescope.ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 4.2 6.2 7.2
NAI 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Annual Report
We model if and under what conditions some of the recently detected Super-Earths – small, Earth-sized planets that have been discovered in in the classical Habitable Zone Sun-like stars – could be habitable. These models explore the underlying physics of planetary atmospheres and their remotely detectable features.ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 4.2 6.2 7.2