The Alien Observatory –“We May Soon Discover Worlds That Host Lifeforms with Strange, Unearthly DNA and RNA”

 

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In 2016, NASA sequenced DNA in space for the first time, but alien life, we may soon discover, may be vastly different on other planets and moons, particularly as we expand our efforts to explore ocean worlds with our solar system and beyond. “Most strategies for life detection rely upon finding features known to be associated with Earth's life, such as particular classes of molecules,” the researchers wrote.

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NASA Set to Launch “Time-Machine” Mission to Probe Mars’ Formation 4.5 Billion Years Ago

 

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"In some ways, InSight is like a scientific time machine that will bring back information about the earliest stages of Mars' formation 4.5 billion years ago,"  said JPL's Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator for InSight. "It will help us learn how rocky bodies form, including Earth, its moon, and even planets in other solar systems."

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Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –“Our Declining Biological Age” -Is 70 the New 50?

 
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Yale and USC researchers found that American seniors are aging more slowly according to their "biological age." U.S. life expectancy has lengthened significantly for the last 60 years. But at least part of the gains in life expectancy may be due to a change in the rate of biological aging, rather than simply keeping very sick people alive for longer, according to a study by USC and Yale University researchers.

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“Alien Biology” TESS –NASA’s New Habitable Exoplanet Hunter Opens a New ‘Post-Kepler’ Era

 
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“One of the biggest questions in exoplanet exploration is: If an astronomer finds a planet in a star’s habitable zone, will it be interesting from a biologist’s point of view?” said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, which is leading the mission. “We expect TESS will discover a number of planets whose atmospheric compositions, which hold potential clues to the presence of life, could be precisely measured by future observers.”

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Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –Stunning Photo of China’s Space Station, Tiangong-1 Hurtling Towards Earth: ‘Impact Window Includes USA & Europe’

 
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In the next few days, a defunct, unoccupied Chinese space station, Tiangong-1 meaning 'heavenly palace' – shown in the vivid image below, is expected to reenter the atmosphere following the end of its operational life. Most of the craft should burn up. Owing to wide variations in atmospheric dynamics and the break-up process, among other factors, the date, time and geographic footprint of the reentry can only be forecast with large uncertainties. In the history of spaceflight, no casualties from falling space debris have ever been confirmed.

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