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Keyword: panspermia

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Detritus of life abounds in the atmosphere

    03/31/2005 2:36:28 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 8 replies · 324+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3/31/05 | Fred Pearce
    Could dandruff be altering the world’s climate? Along with fur, algae, pollen, fungi, bacteria, viruses and various other “bio-aerosols” wafting around in the atmosphere, it may well be. A global study has found that tiny fragments of biological detritus are a major component of the atmosphere, controlling the weather and forming a previously hidden microbial metropolis in the skies. Besides their climatic influence, they may even be spreading diseases across the globe. Scientists have known for some time that aerosols of soot, dust and ash can influence climate by reflecting or absorbing the Sun’s rays and by providing the condensation...
  • Man Captures Video Of Strange Explosion In The Sky

    01/03/2013 2:55:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    CBS13) ^ | December 30, 2012 11:59 PM
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man scanning the night sky caught a sudden burst of light through his telescope. He recorded that strange sight with his smart phone. CBS13 shared the video with experts to see if they could solve the mystery. This mysterious little tale begins earlier this week when Good Day Sacramento’s Cody Stark got this message on Facebook: “I have something on video no one has ever seen. I had my telescope out, caught an explosion in space. Wanna see the video?” Cody’s response? Absolutely! The video was shot with an iPhone through the eyepiece of a...
  • Water On Earth Is Older Than The Sun

    09/27/2014 4:51:07 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 51 replies
    Science 2.0 ^ | 09/27/2014
    It's no surprise that water was crucial to the formation of life on Earth. What may surprise you is that water on earth is older than the sun itself. Identifying the original source of Earth's water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments came into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. A new paper in Science says that much of our Solar System's water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Water is found throughout the Solar System, not just on Earth; on icy comets and moons, and in the shadowed basins of...
  • Solar System Ice: Source of Earth's Water

    07/14/2012 6:12:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Carnegie Institution ^ | Thursday, July 12, 2012 | unattributed
    Scientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites were the sources of early Earth's volatile elements -- which include hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon -- and possibly organic material, too. Understanding where these volatiles came from is crucial for determining the origins of both water and life on the planet. New research led by Carnegie's Conel Alexander focuses on frozen water that was distributed throughout much of the early Solar System, but probably not in the materials that aggregated to initially form Earth... It has been suggested that both comets and carbonaceous...
  • An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere

    09/06/2004 8:16:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 71 replies · 1,110+ views
    American Scientist ^ | September-October 2001 | Armand H. Delsemme
    Abstract: The young Earth appear to have been bombarded by comets for several hundred million years shortly after it was formed. This onslaught, perhaps involving hundreds of millions of comet impacts, is currently the best explantion for the origin of the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and organic molecules. Although historically a controversial idea, there is now a considerable amount of physical and chemical evidence supporting the theory. Comet scientist Armand Delsemme reviews the evidence and argues that comets from the vicinity of Jupiter contributed the bulk of the constituents found in Earth’s biosphere.
  • Vatican astronomer: Just a matter of time until life found in universe

    09/21/2014 2:45:14 PM PDT · by NYer · 78 replies
    cns ^ | September 19, 2014 | Dennis Sadowski
    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, has no doubt that life exists elsewhere in the universe and that when humanity discovers it, the news will come as no big surprise. He suggested that the likely discovery -- whether next month or a millennium from now -- will be received much the way that news of planets orbiting far off stars has filtered in since the 1990s. "The general public is going to be, 'Oh, I knew that. I knew it was going to be there,'" Brother Consolmagno told Catholic News...
  • Sea plankton 'found living outside International Space Station'

    08/22/2014 6:19:50 AM PDT · by shove_it · 52 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 21 Aug 2014 | Sarah Knapton,
    Sea plankton has been discovered living on the outside of the International Space Station, Russian cosmonauts have claimed. Scientists on board the ISS are reported to have discovered living organisms when taking samples from windows. Head of the Russian ISS orbital mission Vladimir Solovyev said the results of the experiment “are absolutely unique”. Solovyev told the Russian Itar-Tass news agency that the tiny marine life-forms were not native to the launch site in Kazakhstan. “Plankton in these stages of development could be found on the surface of the oceans,” he said. “This is not typical for Baikonur [in Kazakhstan]. It...
  • NASA Announces Science Instruments for Mars 2020 Rover Expedition to the Red Planet

    07/31/2014 5:44:33 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 31, 2014 | Ken Kremer
    The 2020 rover’s instruments goals are to search for signs of organic molecules and past life and help pave the way for future human explorers. Seven carefully-selected payloads were chosen from a total of 58 proposals received in January 2014 from science teams worldwide, which is twice the usual number for instrument competitions and demonstrates the extraordinary interest in Mars by the science community. The 2020 rover architecture is based on NASA’s hugely successful Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover which safely touched down a one ton mass on Mars on Aug. 5, 2012 using the nail-biting and never before...
  • Is The Vatican Hiding Aliens?

    04/08/2014 12:41:31 PM PDT · by NKP_Vet · 75 replies
    http://www.catholicleague.org ^ | March 8, 2014 | Bill Donohue
    Bill Donohue comments on last night’s show, “Unsealed: Alien Files,” that aired on the Science Channel: The program speculates that “new evidence may prove the Vatican is hiding actual aliens from the public.” Either that or the channel will rename itself the Sci-fi Channel. The priest who directs the Vatican observatory, Dr. Jose Funes, was interviewed for the program, and he made the rather unexceptional remark that the universe is so huge that “it would be possible that life could evolve the way we know it on Earth.” This is soon followed by a voiceover that says, “Vatican officials have...
  • Hidden Ocean Found on Saturn's Icy Moon Enceladus, Could Potentially Support Life

    04/03/2014 3:01:44 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 11 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 3 Apr 2014 | Mike Wall
    The Saturn moon Enceladus harbors a big ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust that may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The water ocean on Enceladus is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep and lies beneath a shell of ice 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) thick, researchers said. Further, it's in direct contact with a rocky seafloor, theoretically making possible all kinds of complex chemical reactions — such as, perhaps, the kind that led to the rise of life on Earth. "The main implication is that there are...
  • Vatican scientists co-host conference on alien life forms

    03/19/2014 1:53:47 PM PDT · by NYer · 37 replies
    Cath News ^ | March 19, 2014
    Nearly 200 scientists are attending the conference, called The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignature & Instruments, which runs from March 16-21 in Tucson, Arizona. The Vatican Observatory is co-hosting the conference with the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. 'Finding life beyond Earth is one of the great challenges of modern science and we are excited to have the world leaders in this field together in Tucson,' said event co-chair Daniel Apai, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the UA Steward Observatory.'But reaching such an ambitious goal takes planning and time. The goal of this meeting is...
  • 'Waves' detected on Titan moon’s lakes

    03/18/2014 1:25:36 PM PDT · by don-o · 38 replies
    BBC ^ | March 18, 2014 | Paul Rincon
    Scientists believe they have detected the first liquid waves on the surface of another world. The signature of isolated ripples was observed in a sea called Punga Mare on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. However, these seas are filled not with water, but with hydrocarbons like methane and ethane. These exist in their liquid state on Titan, where the surface temperature averages about -180C. Planetary scientist Jason Barnes discussed details of his findings at the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Texas this week. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote We think we've found the first...
  • The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignatures & Instruments.

    03/17/2014 2:01:33 PM PDT · by iowamark · 20 replies
    EBI.org ^ | 3/16/2014
    Motivated by the rapidly increasing number of known Earth-sized planets, the increasing range of extreme conditions in which life on Earth can persist, and the progress toward a technology that will ultimately enable the search for life on exoplanets, the Vatican Observatory and the Steward Observatory announce a major conference entitled The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignatures & Instruments. Goal: The goal of the conference is to bring together the interdisciplinary community required to address this multi-faceted challenge: experts on exoplanet observations, early and extreme life on Earth, atmospheric biosignatures, and planet-finding telescopes. Format: The sessions...
  • Why We Need to go to Europa

    03/09/2014 5:28:18 PM PDT · by lbryce · 46 replies
    FRom Quarks To Quasars ^ | March 7, 2014 | Staff
    NASA really wants to go to Europa, and anyone who knows anything about exobiology really wants NASA to go to Europa. Why? Water. On Earth, water is what fuels life. Of course, there are a lot of other things that fuel life on our planet, but water is an integral part of life as we know it. Indeed, so far all of our research has indicated that–where there is water, there is life (Earth isn’t called “the Pale Blue Dot” for nothing). And while it is possible that alien life could exists on other worlds and thrive off of...
  • No Moon, no life on Earth, suggests theory

    03/20/2004 7:38:37 PM PST · by Leroy S. Mort · 234 replies · 1,418+ views
    NewScientist.com ^ | 18 March, 2004
    Without the Moon, there would have been no life on Earth. Four billion years ago, when life began, the Moon orbited much closer to us than it does now, causing massive tides to ebb and flow every few hours. These tides caused dramatic fluctuations in salinity around coastlines which could have driven the evolution of early DNA-like biomolecules. This hypothesis, which is the work of Richard Lathe, a molecular biologist at Pieta Research in Edinburgh, UK, also suggests that life could not have begun on Mars. According to one theory for the origin of life, self-replicating molecules such as DNA...
  • Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets

    01/23/2011 9:38:58 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 203 replies · 1+ views
    The Daily Telegraph ^ | January 23, 2011 | Heidi Blake
    Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life. Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique. “We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it,” he said. He pointed to stars such as HD10180,...
  • Intelligent Aliens Could Be Found by 2040

    02/10/2014 6:28:41 AM PST · by 12th_Monkey · 109 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 10, 2014 | Mike Wall
    The first detection of intelligent extraterrestrial life will likely come within the next quarter-century, a prominent alien hunter predicts. By 2040 or so, astronomers will have scanned enough star systems give themselves a great shot of discovering alien-produced electromagnetic signals, said Seth Shostak of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, Calif. "I think we'll find E.T. within two dozen years using these sorts of experiments," Shostak said here Thursday (Feb. 6) during a talk at the 2014 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) symposium here at Stanford University "Instead of looking at a few thousand star systems,...
  • Habitability around F-type Stars

    01/06/2014 8:10:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Astrobiology ^ | December 31, 2013 | S. Sato, M. Cuntz, C. M. Guerra Olvera, D. Jack, K.-P. Schroeder
    We explore the general astrobiological significance of F-type main-sequence stars with masses between 1.2 and 1.5 Msun. Special consideration is given to stellar evolutionary aspects due to nuclear main-sequence evolution. DNA is taken as a proxy for carbon-based macromolecules following the paradigm that extraterrestrial biology may be most likely based on hydrocarbons. Consequently, the DNA action spectrum is utilized to represent the impact of the stellar UV radiation. Planetary atmospheric attenuation is taken into account based on parameterized attenuation functions. We found that the damage inflicted on DNA for planets at Earth-equivalent positions is between a factor of 2.5 and...
  • NASA: Ancient Martian lake may have supported life

    12/09/2013 11:24:52 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government / The Associated Press ^ | December 9, 2013 | Alicia Chang
    NASA's Curiosity rover has uncovered signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars that may have teemed with tiny organisms for tens of millions of years, far longer than scientists had imagined, new research suggests. The watering hole near the Martian equator existed about 3.5 billion years ago. Scientists say it was neither salty nor acidic, and contained nutrients _ a perfect spot to support microbes....
  • Organic Molecules Found in Sutter's Mill Meteorite, Not Previously Found in Any Meteorites

    09/16/2013 8:05:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Science News ^ | Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | Arizona State University
    An important discovery has been made concerning the possible inventory of molecules available to the early Earth. Scientists led by Sandra Pizzarello, a research professor in ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, found that the Sutter's Mill meteorite, which exploded in a blazing fireball over California last year, contains organic molecules not previously found in any meteorites. These findings suggest a far greater availability of extraterrestrial organic molecules than previously thought possible, an inventory that could indeed have been important in molecular evolution and life itself... "The analyses of meteorites never cease to surprise you ... and make you wonder,"...
  • Earth life likely came from Mars, study suggests

    09/02/2013 10:49:25 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 36 replies
    CBS News ^ | 09/01/2013 | MIKE WALL
    Evidence is building that Earth life originated on Mars and was brought to this planet aboard a meteorite, said biochemist Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida. An oxidized form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, was likely available on the Red Planet's surface long ago, but unavailable on Earth, said Benner, who presented his findings today (Aug. 28; Aug. 29 local time) at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Florence, Italy. [The Search for Life on Mars (Photo Timeline)] "It's only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized...
  • Life DID begin on Mars - then we all travelled to Earth on a meteorite

    08/28/2013 8:59:09 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 70 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 28 August 2013 | ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD
    It might not just be men who are from Mars, claims a new study which suggests that all life on Earth actually began on the red planet. An element believed to be crucial to the origin of life would only have been available on the surface of Mars, it is claimed. Geochemist Professor Steven Benner argues that the 'seeds' of life probably arrived on Earth in meteorites blasted off Mars by impacts or volcanic eruptions. Professor Steven Benner will tell geochemists gathering today at the annual Goldschmidt conference that an oxidised mineral form of the element molybdenum, which may have...
  • Mapping out the search for life on Jupiter's watery moon Europa

    08/08/2013 5:38:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    LATimes ^ | August 8, 2013, 4:29 p.m | Deborah Netburn
    "It does have the right ingredients," said Robert Pappalardo, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and lead author of a new study outlining what might be learned from a spacecraft that landed on the mysterious moon. Sending a lander to Europa is not officially part of NASA's plans, but the agency asked Pappalardo and a far-flung team of planetary scientists to lay out what they would hope to learn if and when a spacecraft landed on the tantalizing moon. In a study published in the journal Astrobiology, the team said it was mostly interested in Europa's chemical composition -...
  • Did comets flood Earth’s oceans?

    06/16/2004 2:30:59 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 43 replies · 512+ views
    EurekaAlert ^ | 16 June 2004
    Did comets flood Earth’s oceans? Did comets flood Earth's oceans? 16 June 2004 Did the Earth form with water locked into its rocks, which then gradually leaked out over millions of years? Or did the occasional impacting comet provide the Earth’s oceans? The Ptolemy experiment on Rosetta may just find out… The Earth needed a supply of water for its oceans, and the comets are large celestial icebergs - frozen reservoirs of water orbiting the Sun. Did the impact of a number of comets, thousands of millions of years ago, provide the Earth with its supply of water? Finding hard...
  • Comet's water 'like that of Earth's oceans'

    10/05/2011 6:41:44 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies
    BBC ^ | October 5, 2011 | Jason Palmer
    Comet Hartley 2 contains water more like that found on Earth than prior comets seem to have, researchers say. A study using the Herschel space telescope aimed to measure the quantity of deuterium, a rare type of hydrogen, present in the comet's water. The comet had just half the amount of deuterium seen in comets. The result, published in Nature, hints at the idea that much of the Earth's water could have initially came from cometary impacts. Just a few million years after its formation, the early Earth was rocky and dry; something must have brought the water that covers...
  • Small Comets and Our Origins

    10/19/2004 11:13:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 80 replies · 1,857+ views
    University of Iowa ^ | circa 1999 | Louis A. Frank
    Given the reality of the dark spots, which soon became known as "atmospheric holes" because of their appearance in the images, there is only one explanation which has endured over all these years to present. That is, the holes are due to the shadowing of the atmospheric light by an object above the atmosphere. This object simply cannot be a stony or iron meteor because the holes are very large, tens of miles in diameter. A rock of this size would provide a disastrous impact on the Earth's surface. As it turns out, water vapor is very good at absorbing...
  • Did Comets Contain Key Ingredients For Life On Earth?

    06/06/2009 10:52:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 51 replies · 817+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | April 29, 2009 | Adapted from materials provided by Tel Aviv University
    While investigating the chemical make-up of comets, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun of the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University found they were the source of missing ingredients needed for life in Earth's ancient primordial soup. "When comets slammed into the Earth through the atmosphere about four billion years ago, they delivered a payload of organic materials to the young Earth, adding materials that combined with Earth's own large reservoir of organics and led to the emergence of life," says Prof. Bar-Nun.
  • Clandestine comets found in main asteroid belt - Earth oceans origin

    03/24/2006 2:26:05 AM PST · by S0122017 · 10 replies · 901+ views
    newscientist space ^ | 23 March 2006
    Clandestine comets found in main asteroid belt 19:00 23 March 2006 NewScientist.com news service Kimm Groshong You do not have to look to the outer edges of the solar system, or even out beyond Neptune to observe a reservoir of comets. A bevy of the ice-containing bodies lies disguised as main-belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, claim astronomers from the University of Hawaii, US. David Jewitt and Henry Hsieh have dubbed the new population "main belt comets". They describe three objects with near circular, flat orbits in the asteroid belt that stream volatile materials, producing an observable tail for weeks...
  • Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth

    12/14/2009 5:27:46 AM PST · by decimon · 35 replies · 981+ views
    University of Kansas ^ | Dec 14, 2009 | Unknown
    An investigation by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequencyLAWRENCE, Kan. — It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside. But this isn't a disaster movie plotline. "Comet impacts might be much more frequent than we expect," said Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. "There's a lot of interest in the rate...
  • Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors

    06/02/2005 9:04:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies · 3,184+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 1 June 2005 | David L Chandler
    On 26 May, JPL's unique orbital calculation software determined that Comet Catalina was on what could possibly be a collision course with Earth, though the odds of such an impact were small: just 1 chance in 300,000 of a strike on June 11, 2085. Based on the 980-metre size estimate, that would produce a 6-gigaton impact - equivalent to 6 billion tonnes of TNT. Astronomers expected the addition of further observations to the calculations to rule out any possibility of a collision, as happens with most newly-seen objects. But that did not quite happen. The comet's predicted pathway actually drew...
  • We are all made of comet dust

    06/16/2013 12:50:32 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 35 replies
    The National ^ | Jun 16, 2013
    Man owes a lot to chunks of rock and ice floating through space. From ancient jewellery to water and possibly even the beginnings of life itself, scientists are discovering that comets have contributed in many ways to the development of life on the planet, Robert Matthews writes Since their discovery in an Egyptian cemetery more than a century ago, a handful of metal beads have perplexed archaeologists. As jewellery, the beads seem decidedly downmarket, being made of nothing more glamorous than iron. Yet clearly their owner, dead for more than 5,000 years, held them in great esteem - as do...
  • Is Earth Rarer Than We Think?

    03/23/2013 6:00:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 72 replies
    Discovery ^ | Mar 22, 2013 10:59 AM ET // by | Markus Hammonds
    “It is dangerous to assume life is common across the Universe.” These were the words of Charles Cockell at a Royal Society event on March 11 this year. While many people have freely debated the existence of extraterrestrial life, Cockell’s words carry a bit more weight than most. He happens to be the director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology, based at the University of Edinburgh. Bringing to mind the argument made by Fermi’s paradox — if the universe is teeming with life, where exactly is everyone? — this may seem at first to be a slightly pessimistic outlook. Evidently,...
  • Astrobiologists claim meteorite carried space algae

    03/12/2013 10:27:50 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 41 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 03-12-2013 | Staff
    A fireball that appeared over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa on December 29, 2012 was a meteorite containing algae fossils, according to a paper published in the Journal of Cosmology. A team of researchers, led by Jamie Wallis of Cardiff University, believes that these fossils provide evidence of cometary panspermia, the hypothesis that life originated in outer space and comets brought it to Earth. Scientists at the Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute in Colombo forwarded 628 stone fragments that allegedly fell from the fireball to Cardiff University, where Wallis' team indentified three as originating from a carbonaceous chondrite. The...
  • Curiosity Rover discovers conditions suited for ancient life on Mars

    03/12/2013 1:44:23 PM PDT · by Steely Tom · 41 replies
    CNet ^ | 12 March 2013 | Charles Cooper
    NASA is reporting that an analysis of a rock powder sample collected by the Curiosity rover suggests that ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The sample contained traces of sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon -- key chemical ingredients for life. For astronomers, the news constitutes the latest clue in their pursuit of a scientific holy grail: Answering the big question about whether life ever existed on the Red Planet. Their challenge until now has been to confirm whether the Martian atmosphere could have supported a habitable environment. The preliminary evidence now suggests the answer is yes...
  • Antarctic Lake Vostok yields 'new bacterial life'

    03/09/2013 4:22:52 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    bbc ^ | 7 March 2013 Last updated at 16:51 ET | Paul Rincon
    Last year, the team drilled through almost 4km (2.34 miles) of ice to reach the lake and retrieve samples. Vostok is thought to have been cut off from the surface for millions of years. This has raised the possibility that such isolated bodies of water might host microbial life forms new to science. "After putting aside all possible elements of contamination, DNA was found that did not coincide with any of the well-known types in the global database," said Sergei Bulat, of the genetics laboratory at the St Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics. "We are calling this life form unclassified...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tardigrade in Moss

    03/06/2013 4:58:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    NASA ^ | March 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA...
  • Study: Meteor Crashes Jump-Start Life

    08/10/2005 9:39:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 266+ views
    Discovery News Brief ^ | August 9, 2005 | AFP
    Canadian geologists have found more evidence that impact craters may, in fact, be the best places to look for signs of past life on Mars and other worlds, and could even have been the place life began on Earth... It was during some field work on the 15-mile (24 kilometer) wide Haughton crater that he and his colleagues recognized what appeared to be the remains of hydrothermal structures. These would have been steaming vents at one time, releasing heat for millennia that had been generated by the impact event.
  • Hints of Life Found on Saturn Moon

    06/04/2010 2:27:04 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 26 replies · 720+ views
    Gizmodo ^ | June 4, 2010 | Gizmodo
     Two potential signatures of life on Saturn's moon Titan have been found by the Cassini spacecraft. But scientists are quick to point out that non-biological chemical reactions could also be behind the observations.Titan is much too cold to support liquid water on its surface, but some scientists have suggested that exotic life-forms could live in the lakes of liquid methane or ethane that dot the moon's surface.In 2005, Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field and Heather R Smith of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, calculated that such microbes could eke out an existence by breathing in hydrogen...
  • Spanish scientists confirm the existence of electric activity in Titan [and life's precursors?]

    10/22/2008 10:40:15 AM PDT · by Mike Fieschko · 4 replies · 370+ views
    eurekalert.org ^ | October 22, 2008 | Juan Antonio Morente
    Physicists of the University of Granada and the University of Valencia (Spain) have developed a proceeding to analyse specific data sent by the Huygens probe from Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, proving "in an unequivocal way" that there is natural electric activity in its atmosphere. The scientific community thinks that there is a higher probability that organic molecules precursors to life could form in those planets or satellites which have an atmosphere with electric storms. Researcher Juan Antonio Morente, from the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Granada, has informed the SINC that Titan is considered to...
  • Water signs on Saturn moon raises possibility of extra-terrestrial life

    03/10/2006 8:17:30 AM PST · by West Coast Conservative · 20 replies · 736+ views
    AFP ^ | March 10, 2006
    The potential discovery of water on one of Saturn's moons would add a new environment in the solar system where life could exist, according to scientists. NASA's Cassini spacecraft made the surprising find on Enceladus during its mission around Saturn and the ringed planet's natural satellites. The probe may have found evidence of liquid water that erupts like geysers from Yellowstone park in the western United States, NASA said Thursday. "The rare occurrence of liquid water so near the surface raises many new questions about the mysterious moon," NASA said. "We realize that this is a radical conclusion -- that...
  • 5 Reasons Mars May Have Never Seen Life

    11/17/2012 11:13:21 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 50 replies
    Forbes ^ | 11/15/12 | Bruce Dorminey
    On Aug. 28, 2012, during the 22nd Martian day, or sol, after landing on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover drove about 52 feet (16 meters) eastward. The drive imprinted the wheel tracks visible in this image. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech After decades of following the water, the reality that “life as we know it” may never have gotten a foothold on Mars’ surface, at least, has arguably taken root within the planetary science community. If life ever was or is lurking on the Red planet, it’s been extremely coy about revealing itself. The recent news that the Mars Curiosity rover has thus far...
  • ‘Arsenic-life’ bacterium prefers phosphorus after all

    10/09/2012 8:01:47 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 03 October 2012 | Daniel Cressey
    Transport proteins show 4,000-fold preference for phosphate over arsenate.A bacterium that some scientists thought could use arsenic in place of phosphorus in its DNA actually goes to extreme lengths to grab any traces of phosphorus it can find.The finding clears up a lingering question sparked by a controversial study1, published in Science in 2010, which claimed that the GFAJ-1 microbe could thrive in the high-arsenic conditions of Mono Lake in California without metabolizing phosphorus — an element that is essential for all forms of life.Although this and other key claims of the paper were later undermined (see 'Study challenges existence...
  • SETI and Intelligent Design

    12/02/2005 8:35:59 AM PST · by ckilmer · 213 replies · 2,555+ views
    space.com ^ | posted: 01 December 2005 | Seth Shostak
    SETI and Intelligent Design By Seth ShostakSETI Instituteposted: 01 December 200506:37 am ET If you’re an inveterate tube-o-phile, you may remember the episode of "Cheers" in which Cliff, the postman who’s stayed by neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night from his appointed rounds of beer, exclaims to Norm that he’s found a potato that looks like Richard Nixon’s head.This could be an astonishing attempt by taters to express their political views, but Norm is unimpressed. Finding evidence of complexity (the Nixon physiognomy) in a natural setting (the spud), and inferring some deliberate, magical mechanism behind it all,...
  • Exclusive: NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

    03/05/2011 10:27:15 AM PST · by Dallas59 · 55 replies
    fox news ^ | 3/4/2011 | Fox News
    We are not alone in the universe -- and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought. That's the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has traveled to remote areas in Antarctica, Siberia, and Alaska, amongst others, for over ten years now, collecting and studying meteorites. He gave FoxNews.com early access to the out-of-this-world research, published late...
  • NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

    03/05/2011 5:51:25 AM PST · by SonOfDarkSkies · 36 replies
    FoxNews.com ^ | 3/5/2011 | Garrett Tenney
    We are not alone in the universe -- and alien life forms may have a lot more in common with life on Earth than we had previously thought. That's the stunning conclusion one NASA scientist has come to, releasing his groundbreaking revelations in a new study in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, gave FoxNews.com early access to the out-of-this-world research, published late Friday evening in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology. In it, Hoover describes the latest findings in his study of an...
  • Giant Tropical Lake Found On Saturn Moon Titan

    06/13/2012 6:33:23 PM PDT · by edpc · 44 replies
    Space.com via Yahoo News ^ | 13 June 2012 | Charles Q. Choi
    An oasis of liquid methane has unexpectedly been discovered amid the tropical dunes of Saturn's moon Titan, researchers say. This lake in the otherwise dry tropics of Titan hints that subterranean channels of liquid methane might feed it from below, scientists added. Titan has clouds, rain and lakes, like Earth, but these are composed of methane rather than water. However, methane lakes were seen only at Titan's poles until now — its tropics around the equator were apparently home to dune fields instead.
  • Strange bacteria found on South American volcanoes

    06/13/2012 6:31:04 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies
    watts Up With That? ^ | June 10, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the University of Colorado at Boulder, proof that life can inhabit just about anywhere. CU-Boulder-led team finds microbes in extreme environment on South American volcanoesA CU-Boulder-led team has discovered some rare, primitive microorganisms on high volcanoes in South America that may be fueled by drifting gases in the region rather than photosynthesis. Credit: University of Colorado A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth has found a hardy few.A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the Martian-like landscape on some...
  • Viking robots found life on Mars in 1976, scientists say

    New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week.
  • Increased CO2 Emissions Will Delay Next Ice Age ( And that is a good thing!)

    01/08/2012 9:21:33 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 21 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | January 8, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    Sir Fred Hoyle Vindicated (Via Dr. Benny Peiser of the GWPF) According to new research to be published in Nature Geoscience  (embargoed until 1800 GMT/10AM PST, Sunday 8 January 2012), the next ice age could set in any time this millennium where it not for increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are preventing such a global disaster from occurring. The new research confirms the theory developed by the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe in the 1990s that without increased levels of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere ‘the drift into new ice-age conditions would be inevitable.’Hoyle and Wickramasinghe...
  • Astronomers Discover Complex Organic Matter Exists Throughout the Universe

    10/30/2011 5:42:26 PM PDT · by Flavius · 18 replies · 4+ views
    science daily ^ | 10/26/11 | science daily
    Astronomers report in the journal Nature that organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the Universe. The results suggest that complex organic compounds are not the sole domain of life but can be made naturally by stars.