aug 032012
On Evaporating Super-Earths it's Raining Pebbles

  Simulations of the vaporization of Earth-like planets tell planet-hunting astronomers what to look for in the atmospheres of candidate super-Earths. Scientists at Washington University have simulated the atmospheres of hot Earth-like planets, such as CoRoT-7b, shown here in an artist’s conception. CoRoT-7b orbits so close to its star that its starward side is an [continue reading]

jul 292012
Life on Earth Possibly Submitted by Meteorites

  A University of Alberta researcher says a meteorite that came down in British Columbia 12 years ago now reveals that a key molecular component present in all life on Earth may not have originated on this planet. Artist’s concept of excess left-handed amino acids delivered to Earth through meteorite impacts. Image Credit: NASA/Mary P. [continue reading]

jul 062012
Life's Molecules Could Lie Within Reach of Curiosity

  Stick a shovel in the ground and scoop. That’s about how deep scientists need to go in order to find evidence for ancient life on Mars, if there is any to be found, a new study suggests. That’s within reach of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover expected to land on the Red Planet [continue reading]

jun 152012
Surprise: Tropical Lakes on Titan!

  NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spied long-standing methane lakes, or puddles, in the “tropics” of Saturn’s moon Titan. One of the tropical lakes appears to be about half the size of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, with a depth of at least 3 feet (1 meter). Saturn’s rings lie in the distance as the Cassini spacecraft [continue reading]

apr 102012
Russia agrees deal with Europe to save ExoMars

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has confirmed it is willing to help Europe explore Mars, putting the ExoMars project back on track after NASA pulled out. The orbiter that will fly in 2016 to look for methane and other trace gases. Credit: ESA   Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin met Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the [continue reading]

mrt 282012
New evidence that comets deposited building blocks of life on primordial Earth

New research reported yesterday at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) provides further support for the idea that comets bombarding Earth billions of years ago carried and deposited the key ingredients for life to spring up on the planet.   New research supports theories that comets striking Earth set [continue reading]