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Posts tagged life

Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photos

Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner who went on to become South Africa’s first black president, died Thursday. He was 95. Mandela received around the clock intensive care from military and other doctors since September, when he was discharged from a nearly three-month hospital stay for a lung infection.

This Scoop of Mars Soil is Two Percent Water

Yesterday was a BIG day for Mars exploration — the first scoop of Mars soil analyzed by NASA’s Mars Science Lab in October is 2% water by weight. This is groundbreaking as this will be a valuable resource for future colonists and could have ramifications for the continuing search of microbial life on Mars. Find out more

Mars Was a Suitable Environment for Life

The first analysis of powder drilled out from the inside of water-soaked rock shows Mars was a suitable place for microbial life to evolve, scientists with NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity mission said Tuesday.

The ingredients may be there… but was life? Read more

Life Surviving in Salty Spanish River Mimics Martians

The Tinto River in Spain provides little comfort for most life. The river is naturally similar to the toxic water leaking from old mines, known as acid mine drainage. However, within that harsh river, biologists identified pockets of salt that created an oasis for bacteria. Similar salt deposits on Mars could also provide refuge for life. Read more…

Genesis II: Extraterrestrial Oceans Could Host Life by Ray Villard

At least six outer moons have subsurface oceans that could potentially be cozy places for life: Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Enceladus and Triton. Each of them could have as much if not more water than found in all of Earth’s oceans. In fact Earth is a comparatively dry world.

I say go go go to Europa!

Rover Finds Whiff of Possible Organics on Mars: “We’re starting to find the spices that make a stew tasty,” Grotzinger told Discovery News. “There are the basic ingredients that you expect to be there, but it’s how you combine them and the minor ingredients that really turn out to be interesting.”

So there might, or might not be, a detection of organics… just a “hint” at this early stage. But the fact we have a robot, on Mars, doing complex chemical analysis is huge news in itself. Outstanding! And we have at least two years of this… patience…

Bizarre Insectlike Creatures Found in Spanish Cave: Three bizarre-looking springtails, tiny insectlike creatures, have been discovered in a Spanish cave.

Crikey!

did we just find a habitable super-Earth?! Yup!

Super-Earth Discovered in Star’s Habitable Zone

Scientists added three new planets to three discovered in 2008 orbiting an orange star called HD 40307, which is roughly three-quarters as massive as the sun and located about 42 light-years away in the constellation Pictor.

Of particular interest is the outermost planet, which is believed to fly around its parent star over 320 days, a distance that places it within HD 40307’s so-called “habitable zone.”

"All we know at this point is that it has a minimum mass of about 7.1 Earth-masses. We have no explicit follow-up planned, thought the HARPS team is probably still gathering more data, and may in the future be able to confirm these results, and perhaps add even more planets to the brood," astronomer Steven Vogt, with the University of California’s Lick Observatory, wrote in an email to Discovery News.

Based on our experience with other star systems this newly discovered planet is likely made of rock and may contain water. It receives 62 percent of the radiation from its star that Earth receives from the sun, but Earth is relatively near to the leading edge of the habitable zone.

check it out…

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

Earth-Sized World Found Next Door

Scientists have found an Earth-sized planet circling a neighbor star just 4 light-years away.

No need to brush up on extraterrestrial etiquette quite yet, however. The planet, which flies around its parent star 10 times closer than Mercury orbits the sun, probably is inhospitable for life since its temperature would be more than 2,240 degrees Fahrenheit — far too hot for liquid water to exist on the surface. Water is believed to be necessary for life.

But the newly found planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, a sun-like star roughly 25 trillion miles away, could have better-positioned siblings.

So far, scientists have only ruled out the possibility of massive planets with orbital periods of 200 days or less around Alpha Centauri B, so that leaves plenty of room for the detection of low-mass planets in the star’s so-called “habitable zone” — the distance where water can exist on a planet’s surface.

Hi neighbor…

The life cycle of a moth or butterfly are fairly commonly known, but the life cycle of a star… probably not…

see if you can spot all the easter eggs i put in the video this week…

TWiDN: Fake Egyptian Feet and Black Mambas

This week in Discovery News we discovered the oldest prosthetic in history, plus there was water on Mars and a snake venom could kill more pain than morphine.

watch the video!

this ring shadow is gorgeous!

sometimes I wish Earth had rings.

Saturn’s Southern Side: Big Pic

Saturn’s southern reaches are draped in the shadow of the huge planet’s iconic ring system in a spectacular new picture from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

The near-infrared photo was snapped on June 15 beautifully captures the ring shadow on the planet.

video after the jump…

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