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  • July 13, 2016
  • 08:28 AM
  • 1,044 views

An equation for life

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Water churns. Earth moves. Molecules jostle and chemicals mix. Between heaven and hell, a young planet finds itself in full flux. Developing. Forming. Star stuff rains down and forged elements bubble up. Then it happens. It seems as if it’s just another chemical match-up, another reaction in the vast library of possibilities. But it would […]... Read more »

Scharf C, & Cronin L. (2016) Quantifying the origins of life on a planetary scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 27382156  

  • May 3, 2016
  • 08:39 AM
  • 815 views

Flipping the Drake Equation for a deep time perspective on the Fermi Paradox

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Is anybody out there? Where are all the alien civilizations? Even if (intelligent) life is very unlikely, the sheer size and age of the universe means that even long odds might have produced space faring civilizations. Yet, so far, nada. When people are considering the (im)probability of non-human space travellers, one thing always comes up: […]... Read more »

  • December 10, 2014
  • 02:20 PM
  • 883 views

DNA can survive atmosphere re-entry

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

On March 29, 2011, a TEXUS-49 rocket took off from northern Sweden for a short trip into space and back …Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 11, 2014
  • 11:50 AM
  • 1,522 views

A Four Billion Mile Road Trip to Grandma’s

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

Mankind is about to take a huge step in understanding himself and his universe. The Rosetta orbiter has traveled 3.8 billion miles to catch comet 67P/C-G. Traveling at more than 24,000 miles per hour, the Philae Lander is now going to land on the comet. A visitor from deep space and from deep time, 67P/C-G contains clues about the solar system, water, and perhaps life itself.... Read more »

  • August 14, 2014
  • 02:55 PM
  • 1,137 views

Getting High On Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Living organisms can survive and thrive in all kinds of rough environments. This would include the edges of space. There are bird species that can fly at almost 40,000 ft., as high as the highest clouds. New research is showing just how the bar headed goose is able to fly when the air is thin and the oxygen is scarce. But more impressive are the bacteria. They can actually live their whole lives in the air, dividing and growing nearly 25 miles (41 km) above the surface of the Earth. A study from........ Read more »

Pawar SP, Dhotre DP, Shetty SA, Chowdhury SP, Chaudhari BL, & Shouche YS. (2012) Genome sequence of Janibacter hoylei MTCC8307, isolated from the stratospheric air. Journal of bacteriology, 194(23), 6629-30. PMID: 23144385  

Hawkes LA, Balachandran S, Batbayar N, Butler PJ, Chua B, Douglas DC, Frappell PB, Hou Y, Milsom WK, Newman SH.... (2013) The paradox of extreme high-altitude migration in bar-headed geese Anser indicus. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122114. PMID: 23118436  

  • August 13, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,156 views

Getting High On Life

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Living organisms can survive and thrive in all kinds of rough environments. This would include the edges of space. There are bird species that can fly at almost 40,000 ft., as high as the highest clouds. New research is showing just how the bar headed goose is able to fly when the air is thin and the oxygen is scarce. But more impressive are the bacteria. They can actually live their whole lives in the air, dividing and growing nearly 25 miles (41 km) above the surface of the Earth. A study from........ Read more »

Pawar SP, Dhotre DP, Shetty SA, Chowdhury SP, Chaudhari BL, & Shouche YS. (2012) Genome sequence of Janibacter hoylei MTCC8307, isolated from the stratospheric air. Journal of bacteriology, 194(23), 6629-30. PMID: 23144385  

Hawkes LA, Balachandran S, Batbayar N, Butler PJ, Chua B, Douglas DC, Frappell PB, Hou Y, Milsom WK, Newman SH.... (2013) The paradox of extreme high-altitude migration in bar-headed geese Anser indicus. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1750), 20122114. PMID: 23118436  

  • April 13, 2014
  • 02:56 PM
  • 1,713 views

Intro to External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP)  is something that’s been discussed for some time. In fact, it was originally proposed by Stanislaw Ulam way back in 1947. Unfortunately the public perception of atomic technology as well as pieces of otherwise well meaning legislation have called into question the feasibility of spacecraft that operate using this advanced … Read More →... Read more »

  • February 5, 2014
  • 12:43 PM
  • 1,470 views

Solving a 30-Year-Old Problem in High Mass Star Formation

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Some 30 years ago, astronomers found that regions of ionized gas around young high mass stars remain small (under a third of a light-year) for ten times longer than they should if they were to expand as expected in simple models. Recent supercomputer simulations predicted that these regions actually flicker in brightness over this period … Read More →... Read more »

C. G. De Pree, T. Peters, M.-M. Mac Low, D. J. Wilner, W. M. Goss, R. Galván-Madrid, E. R. Keto, R. S. Klessen, & A. Monsrud. (2014) Flickering of 1.3 cm Sources in Sgr B2: Toward a Solution to the Ultracompact H II Region Lifetime Problem. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 781(L36). DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/781/2/L36  

  • November 12, 2013
  • 03:31 AM
  • 913 views

Simulations showed that life could be trasferred from Earth to other planets – Related research suggestion

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Scientists have proposed that the primitive life forms on terrestrial planets can be ejected into space from where they would be carried to the other planets, and moons of the Jupiter and Saturn to generate life. This report is supporting the concept of lithopanspermia.

Published in:

arXiv - accepted for publication in Astrobiology

Study Further:

In the present study, scientists performed simulations to find the places where the rocks and other small celestial bodies w........ Read more »

R. J. Worth, Steinn Sigurdsson, & Christopher H. House. (2013) Seeding Life on the Moons of the Outer Planets via Lithopanspermia. arXiv. arXiv: 1311.2558v1

  • November 5, 2013
  • 08:43 AM
  • 1,498 views

What White Dwarfs Can Tell Us About the Universe

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Researchers from Europe and the U.S. have ruled out a multitude of possible parameters for dark photons – a type of dark matter and energy – with the help of white dwarfs. In some aspects, the shining of these dying stars gives more information on dark forces than is provided by earth-based laboratories. The journal … Read More →... Read more »

Herbert K. Dreiner, Jean-François Fortin, Jordi Isern, & Lorenzo Ubaldi. (2013) White Dwarfs constrain Dark Forces. Phys. Rev. D, 88(4). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.88.043517  

  • October 25, 2013
  • 12:40 PM
  • 2,231 views

What Aliens From Another World Will Look Like

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Invading aliens from outer space won’t look like a Lady Gaga zombie or creatures with serious nasal drip problems. Top planetary scientists have now come up with different sketches of how aliens might appear. Here, then, are what real aliens will most likely look like if they drop on your house. First, the alien won’t … Read More →... Read more »

Cosmovici, C., Pluchino, S., Salerno, E., Montebugnoli, S., Zoni, L., & Bartolini, M. (2007) Radio Search for Water in Exo-Planetary Systems. Extreme Solar Systems, 33. info:/

  • October 16, 2013
  • 11:45 AM
  • 1,543 views

How the Largest Known Star is Tearing Itself Apart

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

An international team of astronomers has observed part of the final death throes of the largest known star in the Universe as it throws off its outer layers. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from the UK, Chile, Germany and the USA, is a vital step in understanding how massive stars return enriched material … Read More →... Read more »

Nicholas J. Wright, Roger Wesson, Janet E. Drew, Geert Barentsen, Michael J. Barlow, Jeremy R. Walsh, Albert Zijlstra, Jeremy J. Drake, Jochen Eisloffel, & Hywel J. Farnhill. (2013) The Ionized Nebula surrounding the Red Supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. arXiv: 1309.4086v1

  • October 1, 2013
  • 10:32 AM
  • 1,464 views

New Estimate of Amount of Water on Surface of Mars

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

NASA’s rover Curiosity, which landed on the surface of Mars on 6 August 2012, has led to more detailed estimates of the amount of water on the Martian surface. The Finnish Meteorological Institute is part of the NASA research team. A study published in the magazine Science on 27 September reveals that according to observations made by … Read More →... Read more »

  • July 4, 2013
  • 12:56 PM
  • 1,037 views

There would be no life on Earth after about 2.8 billion years

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Points:

Scientists have recently proposed that ocean and oxygen would remove from the earth and temperature will rise after about 2 billion years and the life would be completely finished on Earth within about 2.8 billion years.

Published in:

International Journal of Astrobiology

Study Further:

Jack O’Malley James, Ph.D. astrobiologist at the University of St Andrews, has generated a computer model and found that the first changes will take place in the next few billion........ Read more »

  • May 2, 2013
  • 10:50 AM
  • 1,556 views

Meteorites May Reveal Mars’ Secrets of Life

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago. And although this team’s work is not specifically solving the mystery, it is laying … Read More →... Read more »

  • January 10, 2013
  • 06:00 PM
  • 1,802 views

why alien moons might just be teeming with life

by Greg Fish in weird things

Another day, another study identifying more potentially habitable worlds in the Kepler data, this time by professional astronomers and volunteers called the Planet Hunters who discussed their planet detections on a specialized message board system called Talk. What they found was that more gas giants orbited stars in their habitable zones than initially thought, giving real evidence for the hypothesis that while alien Earths could be somewhat rare, moons orbiting alien Jupiters and Saturns may b........ Read more »

Ji Wang, Debra A. Fischer, Thomas Barclay, Tabetha S. Boyajian, Justin R. Crepp, Megan E. Schwamb, Chris Lintott, Kian J. Jek, Arfon M. Smith, Michael Parrish.... (2013) Planet Hunters. V. A Confirmed Jupiter-Size Planet in the Habitable Zone and 42 Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archive Data. n/a. arXiv: 1301.0644v1

  • November 27, 2012
  • 08:39 AM
  • 934 views

Life Beneath the Ice

by GDW in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Somewhere on the cold continent of Antarctica, we find Lake Vida, a frozen lake covered with a massive ice sheet at least 21 meters thick. Beneath the ice lies supersalty brine (about seven times as salty as average sea water. And this brine is not only very salty, it’s also quite cold at -13°C. Underneath [...]... Read more »

Murray, A., Kenig, F., Fritsen, C., McKay, C., Cawley, K., Edwards, R., Kuhn, E., McKnight, D., Ostrom, N., Peng, V.... (2012) Microbial life at -13  C in the brine of an ice-sealed Antarctic lake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1208607109  

  • October 18, 2012
  • 11:42 AM
  • 1,528 views

Searching for Extraterrestrial Microbes

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Locating thermophiles in other parts of the universe could very well aid in the search for extraterrestrial life. Most people have agreed that if life is found among the stars, it will be microbial (at least in the near-term future). Many individuals have also suggested that intelligent life forms might very well be extinct in [...]... Read more »

  • October 17, 2012
  • 01:00 PM
  • 3,291 views

Why it matters that the closest-to-Earth-mass planet is around the closest star

by Brooke N in Smaller Questions

How the discovery of the least-massive planet so far could change the abstract nature of astronomy.... Read more »

Dumusque, X., Pepe, F., Lovis, C., Ségransan, D., Sahlmann, J., Benz, W., Bouchy, F., Mayor, M., Queloz, D., Santos, N.... (2012) An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11572  

  • September 17, 2012
  • 02:27 AM
  • 1,646 views

What Microfossils Found in Meteorites Can Tell Us

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

While most people associate the term microfossil with the strange ALH 84001 object, there are plenty of other more concrete examples of tiny fossilized organisms. Research conducted with scanning electron microscope equipment has created a wide array of scientific literature regarding these small remains of living organisms. While marine objects don’t necessary have anything to [...]... Read more »

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