NAI

  1. The Full Palette of Photosynthesis


    The image of Earth on the left is very close to what is be seen by the human eye. For the image on the right, a red component was substituted that shows near infra-red colors. The vegetation in the Am The image of Earth on the left is very close to what is be seen by the human eye. For the image on the right, a red component was substituted that shows near infra-red colors. The vegetation in the Amazon basin produces the red color in this image. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

    Researchers are collecting together data on photosynthetic pigments from Earth to help imagine the colors of life on other planets.

    Plants and other photosynthetic organisms use special molecules for absorbing light. These pigments have a distinctive color, or spectrum ...

    Read More

    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Astrobiology in the Folds


    Close up of a space filling representation of a domain in 23S rRNA from E. coli. Credit: Petrov et al. (2013) Close up of a space filling representation of a domain in 23S rRNA from E. coli. Credit: Petrov et al. (2013)

    Astrobiologists have revealed new information about the structure of RNA molecules found in the ribosome of cells. The study indicates that long-accepted models of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), which are used to study how ribosomes function, require some major updating.

    Previous models indicated that rRNA was built out of 6 separate pieces – known as domains. These six domains were organized around a central core, and the structure of this core was a bit of a mystery. This model of rRNA ...

    Read More

    Tags , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Grand Opening of Biosignatures Exhibit in Wisconsin


    Please join us in congratulating the NAI’s University of Wisconsin, Madison team in the grand opening of their new Biosignatures exhibit at the University’s Geology Museum this week! The exhibit takes visitors on a journey back in time to examine signatures of life in ancient rocks and fossils, as well as a journey through the senses with the Aromas of Astrobiology installation! A meteorite from Mars is the crown jewel…

    Read More

    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. NAI CAN-7 Released


    Please note that, in order to include the new director of the NAI in the CAN Cycle 7 process and to make selection with full knowledge of FY14 budgets the Step-2 proposal due date is changed to April 30, 2014. NASA expects that decisions for the Step 1 proposals will be made on or before Dec 18, 2013. In addition, a number of links to NAI websites have been corrected. The full text of the CAN is available electronically at http://nspires.nasaprs.com.

    The Step-1 proposal due date changed from November 4, 2013 to November 18, 2013 due to ...

    Read More

    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. 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.

    The commenting process will be kicked-off with a webinar on the 19th of September at 14:00 EDT. During the event, Frank Rosenzweig, Eric Smith, and Michael New will give an overview of the work done so far, and explain the next steps. More details can be found on the astrobiologyfuture.org website.

    The kick-off event will be followed by a series of webinars in which the authors of each paper will discuss ...

    Read More

    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Candidate Sites for NASA’s Next Mars Landing


    marssites.jpg

    Potential sites for NASA’s next landing on Mars have been narrowed to four semifinalist located in the Elysium Planitia region. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    NASA has narrowed down the potential landing sites for the agency’s upcoming InSight mission from twenty-two to just four. The four sites are close together in an area called Elysium Panitia near the martian equator.

    InSight (Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a stationary lander that will study the interior of Mars. The lander will deploy a seismometer on the surface and will use a heat probe to penetrate into ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Mars Rover Provides Clues to Mars’ Past Atmosphere


    Image1.jpg

    Lab demonstration of the measurement chamber inside the Tunable Laser Spectrometer, an instrument that is part of SAM on NASA’s Curiosity rover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    New results from the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on NASA’s Curiosity rover have been reported in two papers in the journal Science. Curiosity has been using SAM to study the atmospheric composition on Mars, and is revealing new clues about how the planet lost much of its original atmosphere.

    The findings come from atmospheric samples collected in the first 16 weeks of Curiosity’s mission. The samples were analyzed with ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. New Evidence for a Martian Ocean


    Image1.jpg

    Comparison of exhumed delta in sedimentary rocks on Mars (left) with a modern delta on Earth (right). On the left, a shaded relief map shows elevated, branching, lobate features in Aeolis Dorsa, Mars, interpreted as resistant channel deposits that make up an ancient delta. These layered, cross-cutting features are typical of channelized sedimentary deposits on Earth and here are indicative of a coastal delta environment. Credit: DiBiase et al./Journal of Geophysical Research/2013 and USGS/NASA Landsat

    Scientists studying data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have discovered new evidence that Mars may have once had a vast ocean ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Water on Moon’s Surface Hints at Water Below


    Image1.jpg

    This 70mm handheld camera’s view of the moon, photographed during the Apollo 16 mission’s lunar orbit, features Crater Bullialdus, located at approximately 20 degrees south latitude and 20.8 west longitude. Credit: NASA

    Scientists supported by NASA have detected water locked in mineral grains on the Moon. The findings hint at unknown water sources deep below the lunar surface. Data for the study came from the NASA-funded Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

    Chandrayaan-1 used M3 from orbit to remotely detected magmatic water in the central peak of the Moon ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Solar System’s Youth Gives Clues to Planet Search


    Image1.jpg

    Modeling results show where the injected gas and dust ended up 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. The outer edge shown is 10 astronomical units from the central prostar. Mixing and transport are still underway and the underlying spiral arms that drive the mixing and transport can be seen. Credit: Image courtesy of Alan Boss

    New theoretical models show how an outburst event in the Sun’s formative years could have affected our solar system’s development ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Happy Anniversary Spitzer!


    C-Montage_2.jpg

    A montage of images taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope over the years. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    NASA Astrobiology celebrates the 10th anniversary of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and is grateful for all the contributions it has made to astrobiology!

    Ten years after a Delta II rocket launched NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, lighting up the night sky over Cape Canaveral, Fla., the fourth of the agency’s four Great Observatories continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.

    The telescope studied comets and asteroids, counted stars, scrutinized planets and galaxies, and discovered ...

    Read More

    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Exploring the World of Life Underground


    Jan.jpg

    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. Their approach could become a template for collecting evidence of life or past life on extraterrestrial planetary bodies such as Mars. Credit: USC/Michelle Salzman

    Future life-seeking missions on other worlds may be in for a tough time if all evidence of past or present life is below the surface. In a talk at given for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI ) Astrobiology Lecture Series, Jan Amend discussed how his ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Ancient Snowfall on Mars


    Marsvalleys.jpg

    Image of valley networks on Mars captured by the Mars Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA

    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 surface. Scientists identified four water-carved valleys on Mars that were likely caused by runoff from 'orographic’ precipitation. This type of precipitation occurs when moist, prevailing winds blow over mountains and are pushed upward, resulting in snow or rainfall. The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters

    Studying the nature of liquid ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Ice and Extrasolar Planet Climate


    Planetorbitingstar-Tile1.jpg

    This artist’s concept illustrates a planet orbiting a red dwarf star. NASA

    In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars. According to a new study co-funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and published recently in Astrobiology, this is due to the interaction of a star’s light with ice and snow on the planet’s surface.

    Stars emit different types of light. Hotter stars emit high-energy visible and ultraviolet light, and cooler stars give off infrared and near-infrared light, which has a much lower energy ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
  1. Serpentinization of Ocean Crust: Life’s Mother Engine?


    628×471.jpg

    Shelf-like “flange” structures jut from the wall of one of the spires in the Lost City hydrothermal field. Image credit: IFE URI-IAO, Lost City Science Party, and NOAA

    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.” This paradigm—in cells—involves constantly filling up and depleting a kind of chemical reservoir that is created by pushing a lot more protons onto one side of a membrane than the other—just like pumping water uphill to fill a lake behind ...

    Read More

    Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Comments No comments yet, you could be the first.
< prev next >
1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 92