Using Earth’s history to inform the search for life on exoplanets
UC Riverside is leading one of the NASA Astrobiology Program’s eight new research teams tackling questions about the evolution and origins of life on Earth and the possibility of life beyond our solar system.
To survive asteroid impact, algae learned to hunt
Tiny, seemingly harmless ocean plants survived the darkness of the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs by learning a ghoulish behavior — eating other living creatures.
Newly discovered planet survived the death of its star
Astronomers report what may be the first example of an intact planet closely orbiting a white dwarf
Surprising number of exoplanets could host life
A new UC Riverside study shows other stars could have as many as seven Earth-like planets in the absence of a gas giant like Jupiter.
Newly discovered planet zips around baby star in a week
The discovery gives scientists a front seat to the earliest stages of planet formation
Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils
A wormlike creature that lived more than 555 million years ago is the earliest bilaterian
Ancient meteorite site on Earth could reveal new clues about Mars’ past
UC Riverside scientists have devised new analytical tools to break down the enigmatic history of Mars’ atmosphere — and whether life was once possible there.
Scientists develop new method to detect oxygen on exoplanets
UC Riverside scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres that may accelerate the search for life.
Earthquakes, chickens, and bugs, oh my!
New big data algorithms improve earthquake detection; monitor livestock health and agricultural pests
The thrust of the problem
A new understanding of a fault that caused a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake can help scientists better predict where and when the next big one will hit. For decades, scientists have debated the structure of the Main Himalayan Thrust — the fault responsible for a 2015 earthquake that killed nearly...
The most spectacular celestial vision you’ll never see
Contrary to previous thought, a gigantic planet in wild orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet in the same solar system – or life on that planet. What’s more, the view from that Earth-like planet as its giant neighbor moves past would be unlike anything it is...
Making sense of a ‘7.1’
Abhijit Ghosh, UCR associate professor of geophysics, is racing to understand everything he can about the fault that was unknown until it produced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on July 5. Ghosh's work could help officials prepare for the next big shake.
NASA’s TESS mission finds ‘missing link’ planets
NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite has discovered a type of planet missing from our own solar system. Launched in 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has found three new worlds around a neighboring star. Stephen Kane, a UC Riverside associate professor of planetary astrophysics, says the new star system...
Australia enables UCR to dig into Earth’s wild past
Australian officials signed an agreement last night allowing UC Riverside to continue its pioneering research on a government-owned goldmine for unusual fossils. Nilpena Station is a city-sized plot of land in the Australian Outback. It harbors the richest collection on Earth of animal species around 550 million years old. Some...
Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life – a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn.
New UC Riverside research settles a longstanding debate about whether the most ancient animal communities were deliberately mobile. It turns out they were, because they were hungry.
New study dramatically narrows the search for advanced life in the universe
In a new study, a UC Riverside–led team discovered that a buildup of toxic gases in the atmospheres of most planets makes them unfit for complex life as we know it.
Meteor magnets in outer space
Astronomers believe planets like Jupiter shield us from space objects that would otherwise slam into Earth. Now they’re closer to learning whether giant planets act as guardians of solar systems elsewhere in the galaxy. A UCR-led team has discovered two Jupiter-sized planets about 150 light years away from Earth that...
Pioneering UC Riverside geoecologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Marilyn Fogel, a University of California, Riverside endowed geoecology professor, received one of the highest honors in science this week with her election to the National Academy of Sciences, or NAS. Membership in the NAS is rare. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are 6.9 million scientists in the...
Carbon monoxide detectors could warn of extraterrestrial life
For some distant worlds, carbon monoxide may actually be compatible with a robust microbial biosphere