“They’re Out There” –Most Likely On Exo-Earths of Binary Star Systems

Alpha Centauri Star Systemm

 

“They’re out there,” goes the common quip about extraterrestrials. It would seem more likely to be true in light of a new study by astrophysicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology on planetary axis tilts that modeled a theoretical twin of Earth into other star systems called binary systems because they have two stars. They concluded that 87% of exo-Earths one might find in binary systems should have axis tilts similarly steady to Earth’s, an important ingredient for climate stability that favors the evolution of complex life.

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“Are We Alone?” –New 3D-Models of Exoplanets Moves Us Closer to the Answer

M Dwarf Planet

 

“For most of human history, the question of whether or not life exists elsewhere has belonged only within the philosophical realm. It’s only in recent years that we have had the modeling tools and observational technology to address this question,” said Northwestern’s Howard Chen, future investigator in NASA Earth & Space Science & Technology and first author of the research team that is the first to combine 3D climate modeling with atmospheric chemistry to explore the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars, which comprise about 70% of the total galactic population.

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“Life is Electric” –NASA Enigma Study Explores Origins of Life on Earth & Beyond

Enceladus Moon of Saturn

 

“In science fiction, there is a lot of effort put into searching for signs of life like plants, animals and organisms that look like us. But there is a higher probability that alien life will be at the microscopic level,” says Rutgers University geochemist, Nathan Yee, co-investigator at the NASA-funded ENIGMA project that’s researching how proteins, “sophisticated nanomachines,” evolved to create life on earth. “That fact is so much more interesting when you consider what the earliest lifeforms on Earth were capable of doing.”

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NASA’s “TESS Mission Objects” –Targets of Alien Civilizations Probe

 

TESS First Light

 

“I do indeed suspect there are other intelligent civilizations in the galaxy – we just need to look!” said astrophysicist Andrew Siemion, principal investigator for the Breakthrough Listen program and director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center, in an email to dailygalaxy.com.

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“Planet Earths” –Common in the Universe

 

White Dwarf Star

 

“We have just raised the probability that many rocky planets are like the Earth, and there’s a very large number of rocky planets in the universe,” said Edward Young, UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry. “We’re studying geochemistry in rocks from other stars, which is almost unheard of.”

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“Awaiting Discovery” –Unseen Population of Jupiter-Like Planets Orbiting Nearby Sun-Like Stars

 

Gas Giant Exoplanet

 

There is an as-yet-unseen population of Jupiter-like planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, awaiting discovery by future missions like NASA’s WFIRST space telescope, according to new models of gas giant planet formation by observational astronomer Alan Boss, supported by a new Science paper on the surprising discovery of a gas giant planet orbiting a low-mass star. Boss’s work focuses on the Astrometric Planet Search project, which has been underway for the last decade at Carnegie Institute’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile..

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