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Latest Astrobiology Stories

Ancient Martian Lake May Have Supported Microbial Life
2013-12-09 12:40:55

[ Watch the Video: Evidence Of Ancient Lake Found Within Gale Crater ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A crater found on Mars is actually an ancient lake bed that could have contained the proper conditions to have supported life on the Red Planet, according to a new finding by NASA’s Curiosity rover. NASA scientists announced at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on Monday that they have discovered the fossil remains of a lake inside Gale...

NASA Runs Three Mass Spectrometers In Three Different Places In Space
2013-12-06 17:21:48

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online NASA said that three of its instruments built at the Goddard Space Flight Center were all running three experiments of the same kind at different places in space. The mass spectrometers are designed to take in atmospheric, rock or soil samples and identify particular molecules in them. The instruments help identify gases in atmospheric samples or gases that get released from rock or soil samples as they are processed. “At the...

Curiosity Rover Fires Over 100,000 Laser Shots To Date
2013-12-06 04:10:51

[ Watch the Video: Laser-Zapping Milestone For A 'Curious' Rover ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the shot heard round the solar system — 100,000 shots, to be exact. The rover has fired the laser it uses as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils 100,000 times. One of a series of 300 used to investigate 10 locations on a rock called "Ithaca," the 100,00th shot took place this past October. The...

How Many Habitable Exoplanets Exist
2013-11-26 13:17:30

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In the last decade, exoplanet scientists have been finding new worlds at a brisk pace. But as the number of planetary bodies in our galaxy rises, questions about how many of these may, in fact, be habitable have been reaching a crescendo. The debate centers on the criteria for what it takes for a planet to be considered habitable. It seems the presence of liquid water on the surface is necessary, though some researchers are now...

Curiosity Returns To Normal Voltage Levels, Resumes Regular Duties
2013-11-26 11:16:42

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After spending nearly a week trying to diagnose why NASA’s Curiosity rover experienced a “soft short,” engineers gave the all clear for the Martian vehicle to resume duties on November 23. NASA said the decision to resume scientific activities resulted from successful work by engineers in diagnosing the likely cause of the Nov. 17 change in voltage Curiosity experienced. The space agency maintained that the voltage issue caused...

Minerals Were Scarce When Life First Formed On Earth: Study
2013-11-26 08:05:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Just eight percent of the nearly 5,000 different types of minerals currently found on Earth were present on or near the planet’s surface when life first originated, according to new research published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Science. According to researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, life came about as a result of natural processes that took advantage of raw materials available during...

Curiosity Mars Shut Down Soft Short
2013-11-21 10:16:07

[ Watch the Video: Curiosity Rover Operations Suspended Temporarily ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA has suspended its rover Curiosity operations on Mars to check for possible causes of a voltage change detected this week. The space agency announced that engineers are investigating a “soft” short, which is a leak through a material that is partially conductive of electricity, rather than a hard short like one electrical wire contacting another....

Algorithm To Help Analyze Soil Images From Mars Rover Curiosity
2013-11-16 04:26:45

[ Watch the Video: Getting Up Close And Personal With Mars Soil Samples ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While the instruments on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity are able to easily identify the chemical composition of rocks, measure the speed of the wind and snap amazing images from mast-mounted cameras, the process of analyzing soil images can be a somewhat daunting task, according to researchers from Louisiana State University (LSU). After all, the...

In The Hunt For Habitable Planets, A New Model May Be Key
2013-11-14 13:54:41

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers using new theoretical models have created a new method to simplify the search for Earth-like planets. The new models help rule out the possibility of Earth-like conditions on certain planets outside of our solar system. Yann Alibert, of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern, and colleagues based the study on the mass and radius of a planet, helping to determine criteria that exclude the...


Latest Astrobiology Reference Libraries

Planetary Astronomy
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: Artistic concept of a planetary system. Credit: Wikipedia/NASA/JPL-Caltech The term Astronomy encompasses a broad range of topics, including the study of stars, galaxies, and planets. In order to focus on the different areas of study, many subfields of astronomy emerge. One such area is the study of planets known, appropriately, as Planetary Astronomy. Observational Planetary Astronomy Even within the field of Planetary Astronomy, there are several divisions to...

Astrobiology (journal)
2012-06-04 18:56:55

Astrobiology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published monthly by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. It is the official journal of the Astrobiology Society. As of May 2012, the editor-in-chief is Sherry L. Cady, PhD (Portland State University, Department of Geology). Astrobiology is the leading international journal for astronomers, biologists, chemists, geologists, microbiologists, paleontologists, and planetary scientists designed to advance our understanding of life’s origin, evolution, and...

Sagan, Carl
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 - December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer who pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and science in general. He is less well known for his skepticism. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sagan attended the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree (1955) and a master's degree (1956) in physics, before earning his doctorate (1960) in astronomy and astrophysics. He taught at Harvard University...

8_954eea8cfea1d821c7ed8a17abdb57922
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Xenobiology -- Xenobiology (or exobiology, or astrobiology) is the term for a speculative field within biology which considers the possibility of, and possible nature of, extraterrestrial life. It also necessarily includes the concept of artificial life, since any life form might naturally evolve elsewhere, could conceivably come out of a laboratory using a future technology. It might be difficult to tell whether a truly strange life form had in fact arisen in space, or was designed much...

8_4f8f6116a5b86950ef761e22266894812
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Panspermia -- Panspermia is a theory (more directly described as a hypothesis, as there is no compelling evidence yet available to support or contradict it) that suggests that the seeds of life are prevalent throughout the universe and life on Earth began by such seeds landing on Earth and propagating. The theory has origins in the ideas of Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher. An important proponent of the theory was the British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle. There is some evidence to...

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Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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