Tag Archives: life

What two planetary siblings can teach us about life

Mars and Earth are like two siblings who have grown apart. There was a time when their resemblance was uncanny: Both were warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres. But 3 or 4 billion years ago, these two worlds took … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Rain brings death in Mars-like Atacama desert

When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death. An international team of planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Could martian liquid water hold enough oxygen to support life?

A team led by scientists at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which Caltech manages for NASA, has calculated that if liquid water exists on Mars, it could — under specific conditions — contain more oxygen than previously thought … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Early Mars: Right ingredients for subsurface life

A new study shows that the breakdown of water molecules trapped in ancient Martian rocks likely produced enough chemical energy to sustain microorganisms for hundreds of millions of years beneath the Red Planet’s surface. (…) “We showed, based on basic … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , | Comments Off

‘Black Beauty’ meteorite expands window for early Mars life

The early surface of Mars consisted of a liquid magma ocean that crystallized extremely rapidly, just 20 million year after the formation of the solar system. Thereafter, a solid crust emerged on the red planet, potentially housing oceans with water … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Organic matter in acidic terrestrial stream suggests where to look for life on Mars

By studying streams on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look. Dorset is home to highly acidic sulphur streams that host bacteria that thrive in extreme conditions. One … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Finding martian fossils: A field guide

This paper [A Field Guide to Finding Fossils on Mars, by S. McMahon, T. Bosak, J. P. Grotzinger, R. E. Milliken, R. E. Summons, M. Daye, S. A. Newman, A. Fraeman, K. H. Williford, D. E. G. Briggs, Journal of Geophysical … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Ancient Mars life: Clues from toxic volcanic lake?

Researchers at CU Boulder have discovered microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake that may rank as one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their findings, published recently online [in Astrobiology], could guide scientists looking for signs of ancient life on … Continue reading

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted in Reports | Tagged , , , | Comments Off