Jonathan Fortney Garners Simons Investigator in Astrophysics Award
Oxygen in the atmosphere may not be an entirely reliable ‘biosignature,’ but there are ways to distinguish false positives from signs of life, scientists say
UC Santa Cruz’s Astrobiology Initiative is an interdisciplinary research collaborative dedicated to the study of the origin, evolution, and prevalence of life in the universe. By probing how life forms, identifying the markers life produces, and observing our local astronomical neighborhood, astrobiology brings a 21st-century approach to the puzzle of life: what processes give rise […]
What makes a planet suitable to life? Some researchers think that focusing on a planet’s distance from its sun — the “habitable zone” — is too narrow. A new hypothesis looks at how radioactive elements may be an important factor for life to emerge.
WARNING: Too much radiogenic heat could hurt exoplanet habitability
With funding from NASA, the UCSC-led team will lay the foundation for detecting the signatures of life in the atmospheres of other planets
Radioactive elements produced by colliding neutron stars could make the difference between living and lifeless worlds.
Earth-size planets can have varying amounts of radioactive elements, which generate internal heat that drives a planet’s geological activity and magnetism
Astrobiology focuses on the search for life beyond Earth. A core mission of the UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology Initiative is to effectively communicate with the public the science and ethics of this field. To this end, the UC Santa Cruz Astrobiology Initiative sponsors a Science Communication Graduate Fellowship. Scholars will focus their capstone Science Notes project on […]