Fw: Latest News from the Astrobiology Magazine
- This post is so rich in information, I thought I would post it to
the list in it's entirety!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Astrobiology Magazine" <astronaut@...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 10:29 AM
Subject: Latest News from the Astrobiology Magazine
> Lego Biology
> Planetary scientist Chris McKay asks one of the most
interesting questions in astrobiology: how would one know an
organic relic when it appears?
> Rovers Happily Not to Go Away Soon
> NASA has approved up to 18 more months of operations for Spirit
and Opportunity, the twin Mars rovers that have already surprised
engineers and scientists by continuing active exploration for
more than 14 months.
> Earths Galore
> How many planets like the Earth are there among the 130 or so
known planetary systems beyond our own? How many of these
"Earths" could be habitable? Recent theoretical work indicates
that as many as half of the known systems could be harbouring
habitable "Earths" today.
> The Martian Mortal Coil
> While the Spirit and Opportunity rovers continue to investigate
Mars, scientists are already testing more advanced rovers for
future missions. Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary geologist with NASA
Ames and the SETI Institute, and a member of the Mars Exploration
Rover team, has been testing the rover prototype, Zoë.
> Wednesday, April 06
> For more astrobiology news, visit http://www.astrobio.net
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- Nearly all of these articles appear to be of interest to the
list, so I have forwarded the complete message:
----- Original Message -----
Microbes, Microbes Everywhere
At a recent meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, molecular
evolutionist Mitch Sogin explained why his research focuses not
on plants and animals, but rather on microbial life.
Organics in Titan's Atmosphere
Titan's atmospheric winds, temperature and mixing have been
revealed by new observations from the Cassini spacecraft. The
thick atmosphere of Saturn's giant moon is rich in organic
compounds, whose chemistry may be similar to that which occurred
on Earth before the emergence of life.
Walking Tall Like a Human
A machine called RABBIT, which resembles a high-tech Tin Man from
"The Wizard of Oz," minus the arms, was developed by University
of Michigan and French scientists over six years. If you nudge
this robot, it steps forward and catches its balance much like a
Jumping Genes and the Red Planet
A geologist from Washington University in St. Louis is developing
new techniques to render a more coherent story of how primitive
life arose and diverged on Earth - with implications for Mars.
The task relies on phylogenetic trees, or ancestral DNA trees,
which trace the genetic relationships between what we think of as
primitive organisms as they developed different traits.
Monday, May 16
- Impactor Away
One hundred and seventy-one days into its 172-day journey to
comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully
released its impactor. The separation of flyby spacecraft and the
washing-machine-sized, copper-fortified impactor was one in a
series of important mission milestones that capped off its
successful encounter with the comet at 10:52 p.m. Sunday, PDT.
The early images pointed to a smashing success, with bright
ejecta and a massive dust cloud of rock and ice.
The Pause before the Crash
The Deep Impact spacecraft is nearing the comet Tempel 1. On
Sunday, July 3, a smaller spacecraft will separate from the
mothership, ready to sacrifice its life for the benefit of
cometary scientists everywhere.
New Planet, Largest Solid Core
NASA researchers recently discovered the largest solid core ever
found in an extrasolar planet, and their discovery confirms a
planet formation theory.
Mars in Pop Culture: Radio
Historically, Mars was thought to be the most likely of the
planets to harbor life. Popular culture in the form of
literature, and then later radio and film, reflected such
beliefs. This review examines Mars in the history of radio.
Monday, July 04