Archive for the ‘Mars’ Category

Dismissed Study Alleging Proof Of Martian Life On Earth Finds New Support

Friday, June 25th, 2010


In 1996 a team of NASA scientists published a study saying the they’d found signs of life on a Martian meteorite that crashed to Earth in 1984. They were summarily dismissed by many.

14 years later, as science has caught up, their findings don’t seem so far fetched.

Could we have proof of life on the Red Planet right here?

[Pop Sci]

7th Graders Pwns Geological Surveyors By Finding Unknown Mars Cave Opening

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010


I believe that children are the future, give them pictures of Mars and let them find the caves.

A heretofore unidentified Martian cave opening was found by a group of 7th graders. It was completely unrecorded by our official geological survey of the Red Planet.

the students examined more than 200 images of Mars taken with the Thermal Emission Imaging System (Themis), an instrument on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

Using that camera, the students focused on the area around the planet’s Pavonis Mons volcano. The only other similar opening near the volcano was found in 2007, when Glen Cushing, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, published a research paper on the surface anomalies.

“This pit is certainly new to us,” Cushing told the students, according to a release from the university. He estimated the opening to be 620 feet by 520 feet and the hole to be at least 380 feet deep.

Yeah… but let’s see them buy a pack of cigarettes!


Scientists Solve 40-Year Old Martian Ice Cap Mystery

Thursday, May 27th, 2010


If you had “strange but undeniable resulting pattern caused by a million years of whipping from Martian wind” in the What With The Bizarre Shape Of The Mars Ice Cap pool, please collect your winnings.

According to a new NASA study, the deep grooves in the ice cap, once considered to be proof of a horrific volcanic eruption which left chasms that could easily hold the Grand Canyon, now look the the results of eons of work done by natural forces.

It points to an ancient process, over millions of years, by which the ice and dust accreted while at they same time were sculpted by a powerful, persistent force: the Martian wind.

“Nobody realised that there would be such complex structures in the layers,” Holt said.

“The layers record a history of ice accumulation, erosion and wind transport. From that we can recover a history of climate that’s much more detailed than anybody expected.”

So, there we go.


Man Rescues Yeti, Heart Restarted, Too Gross For Mars, Dan Aykroyd’s Alien Advice [WeirdThingsTV]

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

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Next clips will come out Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

No Matter How Gross We Are, We Likely Won’t Contaminate Mars

Friday, May 14th, 2010

There has long been a school of thought that bacteria from Earth could contaminate possible life on Mars should be take a man made trip to the Red Planet. However, a new study out of the University of Central Florida says no matter how many smallpox blankets we bring, it is unlikely to make a difference.

Ultimately it is unlikely such microorganisms will be able to replicate once on the Martian surface, the research suggests.

“Without replication, terrestrial microorganisms are very unlikely to contaminate a landing site,” Andrew Schuerger, one of the study’s researchers, told “Thus, it is unlikely that spacecraft microbes will compromise the search for organics or the search for life on Mars.”

Mars has been one of the primary places that scientists have expanded their quest for extraterrestrial life, and while Curiosity is not intended to be a life-seeking mission, it is still important for a rover to have minimal bacterial impact on the red planet.

Screw it, the first man on Mars should be stained with BBQ sauce and sporting an unseemly running nose while wiping his hands with red rocks.


New Evidence for Life on the Martian Meteorite

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

According to Spaceflight Now, NASA researchers are about to release new evidence that a Martian meteorite shows evidence for life. The research team originally announced the discovery of the meteorite back in 1996. There was a lot of controversy over what exactly they found. Critics pointed out that the kind of bacterial fossil they claimed to have found was far smaller than any terrestrial example and may have been a product of geology. But the science hasn’t stopped:

Now, 13 years after the Martian meteorite life story emerged, the science team finally feels vindicated. Their data shows the meteorite is no smoking gun but is full of evidence that supports the existence of life on the surface of Mars, or in subsurface water pools, early in the planet’s history.

link: Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Martian meteorite surrenders new secrets of possible life

Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the meteorite:

On August 6, 1996[4] ALH 84001 became newsworthy when it was announced that the meteorite may contain evidence for traces of life from Mars, as published in an article in Science by David McKay of NASA.

The electron microscope revealed chain structures in meteorite fragment ALH84001 Under the scanning electron microscope structures were revealed that may be the remains—in the form of fossils—of bacteria-like lifeforms. The structures found on ALH 84001 are 20-100 nanometres in diameter, similar in size to the theoretical nanobacteria, but smaller than any known cellular life at the time of their discovery. If the structures are really fossilized lifeforms, they would be the first solid evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life, aside from the chance of their origin being terrestrial contamination.

link: Allan Hills 84001 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia