Astronomers may have found a signature of life on Venus

Evidence indicates phosphine, a gas associated with living organisms, is present in the habitable region of Venus’ atmosphere.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 14, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: physics astrophysics astronomy research school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science space-astronomy-and-planetary-science eaps

Lava oceans may not explain the brightness of some hot super-Earths

By making their own lava and cooled glass, scientists find these materials likely aren’t responsible for the unexpected glow of some exoplanets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
Aug. 4, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets research school-of-engineering school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science eaps and-planetary-science

Study: A plunge in incoming sunlight may have triggered “Snowball Earths”

Findings also suggest exoplanets lying within habitable zones may be susceptible to ice ages.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 29, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: mathematics exoplanets geology climate-change environment climate research school-of-science planetary-science eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences

An origin story for a family of oddball meteorites

Study suggests the rare objects likely came from an early planetesimal with a magnetic core.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: space astronomy geology nasa research school-of-science planetary-science eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

TESS mission discovers massive ice giant

Neptune-sized planet may be remnant core of a much larger planet.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
July 1, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science planetary-science satellites eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Citizen scientists spot closest young brown dwarf disk yet

Discovery made through the Disk Detective project could help the search for new planets.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: physics astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets nasa research school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science crowdsourcing astronomy-and-planetary-science

When baby planets melt

MIT scientists identify first magmas generated in solar system’s building blocks, unexpectedly answering questions about meteorites and formation of rocky planets.

Laura Carter | School of Science • mit
May 7, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: space solar-system mars mercury research school-of-science planetary-science eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences astronomy-and-planetary-science venus

Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world

When searching for extraterrestrial life, astronomers may want to look at planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
May 4, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: astrophysics space astronomy exoplanets bacteria biology space-exploration research school-of-engineering school-of-science kavli-institute planetary-science eaps astronomy-and-planetary-science

Origins of Earth’s magnetic field remain a mystery

The existence of a magnetic field beyond 3.5 billion years ago is still up for debate.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office • mit
April 8, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: space geology research school-of-science planetary-science eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences astronomy-and-planetary-science

Titan’s missing river deltas and an Earthly climate connection

Samuel Birch, a new Heising-Simons Foundation 51 Pegasi b Fellow at MIT, will investigate the surfaces of outer solar system objects.

Lauren Hinkel | EAPS • mit
April 8, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: space geology environment climate nasa awards research school-of-science planetary-science eaps earth-and-atmospheric-sciences honors-and-fellowships astronomy-and-planetary-science

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