Spanish Astrobiology Center (CAB)

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SMC participants

Planetary geologist specialising in Mars in the Department of Planetology and Habitability at the Centre for Astrobiology (CAB)

Researcher at the Astrophysics Department of the Astrobiology Centre (INTA-CSIC)

CSIC staff scientist, specialised in the chemistry of prebiotic molecules in the interstellar medium

Research Scientist at the Department of Planetology and Habitability of CAB-INTA-CSIC

Contents related to this centre

A Japanese research team has announced in Nature Communications that it found uracil, a component necessary to form RNA, in a small sample collected from the asteroid Ryugu. According to the authors, these results indicate that these molecules of prebiotic interest were commonly formed on asteroids like Ryugu, and reached the early Earth with the impact of these bodies. The sample was collected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 robotic spacecraft, which returned to Earth in December 2020.


Two decades of work with numerous setbacks, a budget of more than 10 billion dollars and a journey of 1.5 million kilometres to provide us with images of the universe in unprecedented detail have led Science magazine to choose the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as the science breakthrough of 2022.


A study published in the journal Nature Astronomy suggests the existence of an active mantle plume on Mars - a column of material from the mantle that generates hot spots - with a diameter of about 4,000 kilometres, which would explain its geological activity. The planet was traditionally considered to be geologically inert at present.


Research published in Science proposes that an ancient moon of Saturn, which they have named Chrysalis (Chrysalis), may be responsible for Saturn's distinctive rings. According to the authors, the moon orbited around the gas giant for billions of years, but about 160 million years ago, it became unstable and moved too close to the planet, breaking apart under Saturn's tidal forces and forming the planet's rings. According to the research, Saturn's current tilt may also be related to the destruction of this moon.

Ilustración del gran océano de Europa y su gélida corteza. / NASA/JPL-Caltech

A study based on observations of the Greenland ice sheet, published in Nature Communications, suggests that there may be shallow liquid water on Jupiter's moon Europa. The finding could provide insights into the geophysical processes that formed the moon.