Archive

Archive for January 24, 2013

Groundwater-Fed Martian Lake Could Contain Clues To A Subsurface Biosphere

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

The subsurface environment on Mars may hold clues to the origin of life, scientists argue in a recently published research article led by Planetary Science Institute’s Joseph Michalski. A large fraction of the life on Earth may exist as microbes deep underground on our home planet. The same could have been true in the past on Mars.

“Recent results produced by several authors using data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have shown that the subsurface of Mars was widely altered by subsurface water” Michalski said. “Here, we argue that all of the ingredients for life existed in the subsurface, and it may have been the most habitable part of Mars.”

Full Story: http://www.psi.edu/news/press-releases#michalskilake
Also: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-028
Images: http://www.psi.edu/news/press-releases/michalski_012013

Advertisements

Did An 8th Century Gamma Ray Burst Irradiate The Earth?

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

A nearby short duration gamma-ray burst may be the cause of an intense blast of high-energy radiation that hit the Earth in the 8th century, according to new research led by astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhӓuser. The two scientists, based at the Astrophysics Institute of the University of Jena in Germany, publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In 2012 scientist Fusa Miyake announced the detection of high levels of the isotope Carbon-14 and Beryllium-10 in tree rings formed in 775 CE, suggesting that a burst of radiation struck the Earth in the year 774 or 775. Carbon-14 and Beryllium-10 form when radiation from space collides with nitrogen atoms, which then decay to these heavier forms of carbon and beryllium. The earlier research ruled out the nearby explosion of a massive star (a supernova) as nothing was recorded in observations at the time and no remnant has been found.

Full Story: http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/224-news-2013/2215-did-an-8th-century-gamma-ray-burst-irradiate-the-earth