Tag Archives: life

MAVEN webinar: Do habitable worlds require magnetic fields?

[The MAVEN mission is holding a public webinar on April 18, 2018, at 7 p.m. Eastern; 4 p.m. Pacific.] What does it take for a planet to be hospitable for life? Join MAVEN Co-Investigator Dr. Dave Brain of the Laboratory … Continue reading

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Dormant microbial life in Atacama Desert goes active when wet — true for Mars, too?

It may rain once a decade or less in South America’s Atacama Desert, but tiny bacteria and microorganisms survive there, hinting at the possibility of similar life on Mars, researchers said Monday. [Their report was published in the Proceedings of … Continue reading

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Is underground the best place to look for origin of Mars life?

The planet Mars has long drawn interest from scientists and non-scientists as a possible place to search for evidence of life beyond Earth because the surface contains numerous familiar features such as dried river channels and dried lake beds that … Continue reading

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New, low-cost life detection instruments tested at Canadian Arctic Mars analog sites

Researchers demonstrate for the first time the potential of existing technology to directly detect and characterize life on Mars and other planets. The study, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, used miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques to identify and … Continue reading

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Mars: not as dry as it seems

When searching for life, scientists first look for an element key to sustaining it: fresh water. Although today’s Martian surface is barren, frozen and inhabitable, a trail of evidence points to a once warmer, wetter planet, where water flowed freely. … Continue reading

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Seeking microbial biosignatures for studying Mars rocks

Scientists around Tetyana Milojevic from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna are in search of unique biosignatures, which are left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. The biochemist and astrobiologist investigates these signatures at her own … Continue reading

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Ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits in Eridania

The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. A recent international report [published in Nature Communications by a team led … Continue reading

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Vanadium: key element in search for Mars biosignatures?

The search for biology on neighbor planet Mars won’t play out like a Hollywood movie starring little green men. Rather, many scientists agree if there was life on the Red Planet, it probably will present itself as fossilized bacteria. To … Continue reading

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ExoMars 2020: Window into rover’s search for Mars life

Anyone interested in the scientific exploration of Mars and the search for life on the Red Planet will want to read a special issue of the journal Astrobiology. This collection of papers includes one dedicated to the objectives of ESA’s … Continue reading

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Zinc and germanium levels at Gale Crater boost evidence for habitable environment

New data gathered by the Mars Curiosity rover indicates a potential history of hydrothermal activity at Gale Crater on the red planet, broadening the variety of habitable conditions once present there, scientists report in a new study. Researchers found concentrations … Continue reading

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