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Tag Archives: Astrobiology

What’s the Best Mix of Oceans to Land for a Habitable Planet?

Earth is about 29% land and 71% oceans. How significant is that mix for habitability? What does it tell us about exoplanet habitability? There are very few places on Earth where life doesn’t have a foothold. Multiple factors contribute to our planet’s overall habitability: abundant liquid water, plate tectonics, bulk composition, proximity to the Sun, the magnetosphere, etc. What role ...

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Asteroids are Dangerous, but They Might Also be the Key to Life on Earth

Trying to piece together the appearance of life on Earth is a little like looking through a kaleidoscope. There are competing theories for where Earth’s water came from, and there’s incomplete evidence for how the Moon formed and what role it played in life’s emergence. There are a thousand other questions, each with competing answers. Sometimes, contradictory research is published ...

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Putting astrobiology at the heart of NASA science

The Europa Clipper mission under development is driven in large part by astrobiology, including determining if the icy moon of Jupiter could support life. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) by Jeff Foust A quarter-century ago, astrobiology was struggling to find credibility. After past disappointments in the search for life beyond Earth, such as the Viking missions to Mars, not to mention the controversies ...

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