• Matching Mars to Earth

    In Astrobiology Magazines latest podcast, our host Simon Mitton describes planetary simulations being carried out at the Center for Space and Planetary Science at the University of Arkansas, and interviews Mack Ivey, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. Ivey discusses his research on terrestrial extremophile bacteria, and explains how these studies can help in the search for life on Mars.

  • Mars Maps and Methanogens

    In Astrobiology Magazine latest podcast, our host Simon Mitton interviews Rick Ulrich, Professor in the department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas and deputy director of the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences. Ulrich discusses how thermal modeling of Mars is being used to create temperature maps of the planet. With these maps, astrobiologists and planners of future missions could pick out the places where life may possibly exist in the subsurface.

  • Talking About Tides

    Astrobiology Magazine presents its latest podcast with our host Simon Mitton. In this interview, Brian Jackson, a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellow in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, explores the importance of tidal heating in determining the habitability of planets. Tidal heating, which is generated by orbiting a massive gravitational body like a star or giant planet, can heat up a planet or moon. If there is too much tidal heating, though, the resulting volcanism can create torrid conditions unsuitable for life.

  • The Evolution of EPOXI

    Astrobiology Magazine presents its latest podcast with our host Simon Mitton. In this interview, Tim Livengood of the Universities Space Research Association and Vikki Meadows of the University of Washington in Seattle describe how the EPOXI mission developed from NASA´s Deep Impact mission. The Deep Impact spacecraft, having successfully delivered an impact probe to the comet Tempel 1, now will be used to search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. The spacecraft also has been used to observe Earth from a distance, helping scientists understand how gases in the atmosphere can indicate whether distant worlds contain life.

  • Marco Polo and Meteorites

    Astrobiology Magazine presents a new podcast with our host Simon Mitton. In this interview, Beda Hofmann, an astrobiologist at the Natural History Museum in Bern, Switzerland, explores the links between meteorites, asteroids, and astrobiology. Europe’s proposed Marco Polo Mission would land on an asteroid, drill down for samples, and return them to Earth. As Hofmann explains, the samples will be older than any rocks on Earth, and may contain important clues on the formation of the solar system.

  • Is All Life Left-Handed?

    Host Simon Mitton interviews Axel Brandenburg, an astrobiologist at the NORDITA research facility at Stockholm in Sweden. In this interview, Brandenburg considers why terrestrial life is based on molecules that have a left-handed symmetry, when their mirror images should work just as well. He considers the intriguing question: could life be right handed, at the molecular level, elsewhere in the solar system?

  • Looking Beyond

    Join us for Astrobiology Magazine´s latest podcast: "Naked Astrobiology" with our host Simon Mitton, and the second part of his interview with Pascale Ehrenfreund, an astrochemist at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In this segment, Ehrenfreund discusses the chemistry of newly forming planets, how we examine the exoplanets that have been discovered in other solar systems, and what we still need to learn to complete our understanding of planetary evolution.

  • The Chemistry of Carbon

    Join us for Astrobiology Magazine´s latest podcast: "Naked Astrobiology" with our host Simon Mitton. In this interview with Pascale Ehrenfreund of Leiden University in the Netherlands, she describes her studies of meteorites, comets, and the organic chemistry of space. By learning about the evolution of solar systems and tracking the molecules that are necessary for life, scientists such as Ehrenfreund hope to learn more about the origin of life on our own planet and the possibility for life on other worlds.

  • Life´s Slimy Beginnings

    Join us for Astrobiology Magazine’s latest podcast: “Naked Astrobiology” with our host Simon Mitton. In this broadcast Mitton interviews Frances Westall of the Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire in Orleans, France. They discuss her search for the earliest traces of life in the Earth’s most ancient rocks, and how fossilized microbial mats provide a vast amount of information about life’s slimy beginnings.

  • Intelligent Forms: Interview with Simon Conway Morris, part 2

    This is the second part of Simon Mitton´s interview with Simon Conway Morris, a paleontologist renowned for his insights into early evolution. They discuss the development of life and how manipulation of the environment eventually leads to advanced technology. As outlined in his newest book, "Life´s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe," Conway Morris says human-like forms could be a common result of evolution as life on a planet becomes increasingly complex.