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Latest Astrobiology Stories

Mars Curiosity Rover - A Look Back At 2013
2013-12-20 04:35:50

[ Watch the Video: Looking Back AT A Productive Year For Curiosity Rover ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online With a new year around the corner, redOrbit decided to take a look back at NASA’s most-prized rover’s accomplishments over the past year, looking at everything from breakthrough discoveries in Martian soil samples to Curiosity’s 100,00th laser shot. Over the past year, Mars exploration has made the biggest headlines, particularly due to NASA’s...

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory To Test New Supersonic Decelerator Technology
2013-12-18 06:35:49

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory A giant crane will tower above NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., shooting out of a hilly mesa like an oversized erector set, ready to help test components of NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project. The goal of the challenging technology, led by JPL, is to enable a future mission to Mars or other planetary bodies that uses heavier spacecraft and lands them at locations that were previously not achievable. The...

Mars Rock Dating Analysis
2013-12-13 10:15:24

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While scientists have analyzed the age of rock samples from other planetary bodies before, the work has always been performed on Earth. Now, an international team of scientists has announced the first-ever geological analysis of a rock sample performed on another celestial body – Mars. According to a report in the journal Science Express, the on-planet analysis could lead to a greater understanding of Mars’ geologic history and the...

2013-12-09 12:21:14

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Curiosity rover is providing vital insight about Mars' past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) In a little more than a year on the Red Planet, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has determined the age of a Martian rock, found evidence the planet could have sustained microbial life, taken the first readings of...

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...


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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