sep 242012
 
Mars-Like Places on Earth Give Insights into Conditions for Life

  Life thrives on Planet Earth. In even the most inhospitable places – the freezing Antarctic permafrost, sun-baked saltpans in Tunisia or the corrosively acidic Rio Tinto in Spain – pockets of life can be found. Some of these locations have much in common with environments found on Mars, as discovered by orbiters and rovers [continue reading]

aug 122012
 
Searching for Answers About Life on Earth and Mars

  Wichita State University associate professor Mark Schneegurt recently had a paper published in the journal “Astrobiology” which focused on bacteria that live in environments that are salty, but not with sodium chloride – the kind of salt we’re used to on Earth. It has to do with magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt.    [continue reading]

mei 302012
 
Arctic Bacteria Help in the Search for Life on moon Europa

  In a fjord in Canada scientists have found a landscape similar to one of Jupiter’s icy moons: Europa. It consists of a frozen and sulfurous environment, where sulfur associated with Arctic bacteria offer clues for the upcoming missions in the search for traces of life on Europa. Artist’s concept of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech [continue reading]

apr 302012
 
Surviving the conditions on Mars

  Alpine and polar lichens could also survive on Mars. Planetary researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) simulated the conditions on Mars for 34 days and exposed various microorganisms to this environment. Surviving lichen in the German experiment. Credit: German Aerospace Center (DLR) “During this period, the lichens [continue reading]