sep 242013
 
No Methane on Mars Does Not Mean Life Never Arose There

  Data from NASA’s Curiosity rover has revealed the Martian environment lacks methane. This is a surprise to researchers because previous data reported by U.S. and international scientists indicated positive detections. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars in this 2011 artist’s rendering. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech The roving laboratory performed extensive [continue reading]

mei 162013
 
Billion-Year-Old Water Could Hold Clues to Life on Mars

  A UK-Canadian team of scientists has discovered ancient pockets of water on Earth, which have been isolated deep underground for billions of years and contain abundant chemicals known to support life. Water filtering out of the floor of a deep Ontario mine has been trapped underground for more than a billion years. It bubbles [continue reading]

apr 292013
 
Looking for Habited Planets Around White Dwarfs

    TAU finds white dwarf stars may hold the key to detecting life on other planets   Because it has no source of energy, a dead star — known as a white dwarf — will eventually cool down and fade away. But circumstantial evidence suggests that white dwarfs can still support habitable planets, says [continue reading]

jan 162013
 
Ice on Lakes and Seas at Saturn's Moon Titan

  A new paper by scientists on NASA’s Cassini mission finds that blocks of hydrocarbon ice might decorate the surface of existing lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn’s moon Titan. The presence of ice floes might explain some of the mixed readings Cassini has seen in the reflectivity of the surfaces of lakes [continue reading]

nov 032012
 
Does Little Methane on Mars Mean It Was Never Habitable?

  NASA’s car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere.  If the atmosphere of Mars contains methane, various possibilities have been proposed for where the methane could come from and how it could disappear.  Potential non-biological sources for methane on Mars include comets, degradation [continue reading]

jul 212012
 
Titan's River Networks Point to a Puzzling Geologic Past

  For many years, Titan’s thick, methane- and nitrogen-rich atmosphere kept astronomers from seeing what lies beneath. Saturn’s largest moon appeared through telescopes as a hazy orange orb, in contrast to other heavily cratered moons in the solar system. Findings suggest the surface of Saturn’s largest moon may have undergone a recent transformation. Images from the [continue reading]