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Keyword: panspermia

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  • Stephen Hawking announces $100 million hunt for alien life

    07/20/2015 5:36:42 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 50 replies
    The Washington Post's Speaking of Science ^ | July 20, 2015 | Rachel Feltman
    On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen. "We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth," Hawking said at Monday's news conference, "So in an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life." Geoffrey Marcy, a University of California, Berkeley, astronomer who found most of our first exoplanets, also spoke at the event as part of the group's brain trust....
  • A $100 Million Infusion for SETI Research (two parts: Breakthrough Listen and Breakthrough MESSAGE)

    07/20/2015 5:02:44 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 7/20/15 | Paul Gilster
    A $100 Million Infusion for SETI Researchby Paul Gilster on July 20, 2015 SETI received a much needed boost this morning as Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, along with physicist Stephen Hawking and a panel including Frank Drake, Ann Druyan, Martin Rees and Geoff Marcy announced a $100 million pair of initiatives to reinvigorate the search. The first of these, Breakthrough Listen, dramatically upgrades existing search methods, while Breakthrough Message will fund an international competition to create the kind of messages we might one day send to other stars, although the intention is also to provoke the necessary discussion and debate...
  • Search for extraterrestrial intelligence gets a $100-million boost

    07/20/2015 3:24:26 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 23 replies
    Nature ^ | 7/20/15 | Zeeya Merali
    Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announces most comprehensive hunt for alien life.You could say that the silence has been deafening. Since its beginnings more than half a century ago, the dedicated search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has failed to detect the presence of alien civilizations. But at London’s Royal Society today (20 July), Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced a shot in the arm for SETI: a US$100-million decadal project to provide the most comprehensive hunt for alien communications so far. The initiative, called Breakthrough Listen, will see radio telescopes at Green Bank in West Virginia, the Parkes Observatory in Australia, and...
  • Russian Entrepreneur Pledges $100 Million in Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    07/20/2015 3:15:30 PM PDT · by lbryce · 12 replies
    .Entrepreneur ^ | July 20, 2015 | Nina Zipkin
    Is there anyone else out there in the universe? The endeavor to answer that eternal question got a serious shot in the arm this week thanks to Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner. At the Royal Society in London, the billionaire announced the launch of Breakthrough Listen, a 10-year, $100 million initiative to search for signs of extraterrestrial life. Related: The Power of Planning: NASA's Pluto Flyby Was Epic and Amazing Aided by the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in W. Va., the CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia and the Lick Telescope in at the Lick Observatory in...
  • Don't Believe the Hype About Life on Philae's Comet

    07/07/2015 10:57:21 AM PDT · by C19fan · 11 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | July 6, 2015 | Eric Limer
    You may be hearing some exciting news about comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the place where the Philae lander woke up last month. Astronomer and astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe says that the comet's core might harbor singled-celled extremophile life! But while he could be right, you should take his comments with a comet-sized grain of salt. Wickramashinghe and his colleague Max Wallis made a case for a life-filled comet at this year's Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales. Wickramasinghe's theory is tied mostly to the cosmic ice ball's structure and black crust. According to Wickramasinghe:
  • Alien Life On Philae Comet, Scientists Say

    07/06/2015 5:10:49 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 59 replies
    Sky News ^ | July 6, 2015
    Experts discover dark material is being constantly replenished and say: "Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate."Evidence of alien life is "unequivocal" on the comet carrying the Philae probe through space, two leading astronomers have said. The experts say the most likely explanation for certain features of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, such as its organic-rich black crust, is the presence of living organisms beneath an icy surface. Rosetta, the European spacecraft orbiting the comet, is also said to have picked up strange "clusters" of organic material that resemble viral particles. But neither Rosetta nor its lander probe, Philae,...
  • Is This Picture a 'Seed' Sent to Earth by Aliens? Scientists Discover Mysterious Organism

    03/01/2015 1:26:58 PM PST · by lbryce · 107 replies
    SundayExpress ^ | January 25, 2015 | Nathan Rao
    Some scientists believe this is a seed sent to earth by aliens The never-before seen image shows a microscopic metal globe spewing out biological material feared to be an infectious agent. Though the origin or purpose of the mysterious sphere is uncertain, experts say it could contain genetic material - the precursor to life. They sensationally claim it could have been designed by an intelligent species to “seed” and propagate alien life on Earth. It is the first time anything like this has been seen and points not only to the existence of extra-terrestrial life, but to complex and...
  • Cosmic Impacts May Have Seeded Early Earth with Ingredients for Life

    01/24/2015 6:09:58 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 38 replies
    space.com Astrobiology Magazine ^ | | January 20, 2015 03:37pm ET | By Charles Q. Choi, Astrobiology Magazine
    A picture of the gun used in the experiments. The big white box at the left end of the gun is where the target is stored. Credit: Impact Laboratory, University of Kent Bullets of ice shot at high speeds can deposit organic compounds on surfaces they strike. New findings suggest that comets might, indeed, have helped deliver key ingredients of life to Earth and perhaps elsewhere, researchers say. The scientists detailed their findings in the June 13 issue of the journal Astrobiology.Craters on the moon are evidence that the Inner Solar System was prone to giant impacts from asteroids...
  • Strange Comet Discoveries Revealed by Rosetta Spacecraft

    01/23/2015 7:39:21 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 54 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 22, 2015 02:03pm ET | Miriam Kramer,
    Researchers working with Rosetta have found that the comet harbors organic compounds, carbon-based molecules that are sometimes known as the chemical building blocks of life. This marks the first time organic molecules have been detected on the surface of a comet's nucleus, according to Fabrizio Capaccioni, the principal investigator of the VIRTIS instrument on Rosetta. The northern hemisphere of the comet's nucleus is also filled with dunes and ripples that look somewhat like geological markings on Earth, Mars and Venus. Comet 67P/C-G doesn't have a robust atmosphere and high gravity like those planets, and yet it still has structures resembling...
  • NASA Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

    12/16/2014 4:22:20 PM PST · by Islander7 · 23 replies
    JPL ^ | Dec 16, 2014 | Staff
    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory's drill. "This temporary increase in methane -- sharply up and then back down -- tells us there must be some relatively localized source," said Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a member of the Curiosity rover science team. "There are many possible sources, biological or non-biological, such as interaction of water and rock."
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Mysterious Methane of Mars

    12/24/2014 5:19:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | December 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's creating methane on Mars? Recent measurements from the robotic Curiosity rover currently rolling across Mars indicate a surprising 10-fold increase in atmospheric methane between measurements only months apart. Life is a major producer of methane on Earth, and so speculation is rampant that some sort of life -- possibly microbial life -- is creating methane beneath the surface of Mars. Other possibilities do exist, though, with a leading model being the sudden release of methane produced by the mixing of specific soil chemicals with underground water. Proposed origins of Martian methane are depicted in the featured illustration. The...
  • What Would Aliens Actually Look Like? We Asked 7 Experts

    08/15/2014 5:37:29 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 72 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | August 7, 2014 | John Brandon
    Movies and TV shows would have us believe aliens would look a bit like us, only with a big (bald) head, green skin, and crazy eyes. But we weren't satisfied with that old cliche. So we decided to ask sci-fi authors, science experts, and ET buffs what they think a real alien might look like.
  • Gamma Ray Bursts Limit The Habitability of Certain Galaxies, Says Study

    12/11/2014 2:59:54 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 11, 2014 | by Vanessa Janek
    In fact, according to the authors of the new paper, there is a 90% chance that a GRB powerful enough to destroy Earth’s ozone layer occurred in our stellar neighborhood some time in the last 5 billion years, and a 50% chance that such an event occurred within the last half billion years. These odds indicate a possible trigger for the second worst mass extinction in Earth’s history: the Ordovician Extinction. This great decimation occurred 440-450 million years ago and led to the death of more than 80% of all species.
  • A New Physics Theory of Life

    12/10/2014 2:18:28 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 45 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 1/22/14 | Natalie Wolchover
    A New Physics Theory of Life Katherine Taylor for Quanta MagazineJeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life. By: Natalie WolchoverJanuary 22, 2014 Comments (151) print Why does life exist?Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as...
  • Martian meteorite may contain evidence of extraterrestrial life

    12/03/2014 6:49:23 AM PST · by etl lll · 64 replies
    cnet.com ^ | Dec 2, 2014 | Michelle Starr
    A meteorite from Mars that landed on Earth in 2011 contains a carbon compound that is biological in origin. (snip) "We cannot and do not want to entirely exclude the possibility that organic carbon within Tissint may be of abiotic origin," Lin wrote, meaning the carbon maybe physical in origin rather than organic -- devoid of life.7 "It could be possible that the organic carbon originated from impacts of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. However, it is not easy to conceive bywhich processes chondritic carbon could have been selectively extracted from the impacting carbonaceous chondrites, selectively removed from the soil and later...
  • Partial Ingredients For DNA And Protein Found Around Star

    12/31/2005 1:32:58 AM PST · by neverdem · 212 replies · 2,444+ views
    NASA via ScienceDaily.com ^ | 2005-12-30 | NA
    Partial Ingredients For DNA And Protein Found Around Star NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered some of life's most basic ingredients in the dust swirling around a young star. The ingredients - gaseous precursors to DNA and protein - were detected in the star's terrestrial planet zone, a region where rocky planets such as Earth are thought to be born. The findings represent the first time that these gases, called acetylene and hydrogen cyanide, have been found in a terrestrial planet zone outside of our own. "This infant system might look a lot like ours did billions of years ago,...
  • Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

    11/10/2014 1:52:15 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 22 replies
    Motherboard ^ | November 7, 2014 | Jason Koebler
    In high school biology, we are taught that there are three types of life: eukaryotes (that's us, and most everything else we often think of as life), bacteria, and archaea (extremophiles and other very primitive life forms). But some scientists are pretty sure that there are entirely different, undiscovered lifeforms that could be prevalent on Earth, and they remain undescribed because we're not good at looking for them. In a new paper published in Science, Tanja Woyke and Edward Rubin of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute note that "there are reasons to believe that current approaches [to discovering...
  • What different religions say about aliens: A brief guide

    11/04/2014 8:38:50 AM PST · by EveningStar · 67 replies
    The Boston Globe ^ | October 26, 2014 | Chris Wright / David Weintraub
    Religions have surprisingly diverse approaches to the issue of possible extraterrestrial life, David Weintraub found. Below, a quick survey adapted from his book "Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?" and interviews with the author.
  • Titanic Liquid: Blinding ‘Sunglint’ Shines On Saturn’s Swampy Moon

    11/03/2014 5:34:44 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | November 3, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    That’s what the Sun looks like reflecting off the seas of Titan, that moon of Saturn that excites astrobiologists because its chemistry resembles what early Earth could have looked like. This image represents the first time this “sunglint” and Titan’s northern polar seas have been captured in one mosaic, NASA said. What’s more, if you look closely at the sea surrounding the sunlight, you can see what scientists dub a “bathtub ring.” Besides looking pretty, this image from the Cassini spacecraft shows the huge sea (called Kraken Mare) was actually larger at some point in Titan’s past. “The southern portion...
  • 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...