chemistry

It’s Not Conclusive, But Methane is Probably the Best Sign of Life on Exoplanets

When the James Webb Space Telescope aims at exoplanet atmospheres, it'll use spectroscopy to identify chemical elements. One of the…

5 months ago

The Building Blocks of Earth Could Have Come From Farther out in the Solar System

Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago via accretion. Earth's building blocks were chunks of rock of varying sizes. From…

5 months ago

Even More Complex Organic Molecules Have Been Found in a Protoplanetary Disc. Was Life Inevitable?

Will we ever understand life's origins? Will we ever be able to put our finger on the exact moment and…

5 months ago

What’s it Like Inside a Super-Earth?

We know a ton about the inside of Earth. We know it has both an inner core and an outer…

5 months ago

One of Life’s Building Blocks can Form in Space

Peptides are one of the smallest biomolecules and are one of life's critical building blocks. New research shows that they…

6 months ago

Curiosity Sees a Strong Carbon Signature in a Bed of Rocks

Carbon is critical to life, as far as we know. So anytime we detect a strong carbon signature somewhere like…

7 months ago

Did Cosmic Dust Deliver the Phosphorus Needed for Life?

Without phosphorus, there's no life. It's a necessary part of DNA, RNA, and other biological molecules like ATP, which helps…

9 months ago

How To Search the Chemical Makeup of Exoplanet Atmospheres for Hints at Their History

Author’s note – this article was written with Dr. Vincent Kofman, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), working in…

1 year ago

Did Asteroid Impacts Provide Both the Heat and Raw Ingredients to Enable Life?

This is our Great Question: How did life begin on Earth? Anyone who says they have the answer is telling…

1 year ago

The Interior of Enceladus Looks Really Great for Supporting Life

When NASA's Voyager spacecraft visited Saturn's moon Enceladus, they found a body with young, reflective, icy surface features. Some parts…

2 years ago