“Ice Age Mars” –Challenges a Once ‘Warm and Wet’ Red Planet

"Ice Age Mars" --Challenges a Once "Warm and Wet" Red Planet

 

“Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry,” said Cosmos host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.”

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Liftoff! –Perseverance Mission Heads to Mars Ancient Jezero Landing Site

Liftoff! --Perseverance Mission Heads to Mar's Ancient Jezero Landing Site

 

On Tuesday we wrote that Mars tugs at the human imagination like no other planet. “It’s there,” said astronaut Buzz Aldrin, “waiting to be reached.” Today, NASA launched the Perseverance rover that will, if all goes as planned, touch down at the Jezero Crater landing site in February 2021 as a robotic explorer. Jezero, a 45-kilometre-wide crater is home to the remains of an ancient river delta. NASA researchers have detected deposits of hydrated silica from previous flybys –a mineral that’s especially good at preserving microfossils and other signs of past life.

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“Physics of Alien Life” (The Galaxy Insight)

 

Alien Life

 

Science fiction writers have long had bizarre, vivid images of extraterrestrial life from Plutonians resembling intelligent ice cubes to H. G. Wells’ vision of  silicon-aluminum men in “Another Basis for Life” dwelling in an atmosphere of gaseous sulfur on the shores of a liquid iron sea. Astrobiologists have hotly debated how closely extraterrestrial life would evolve to resemble that on Earth, with some arguing that with a slightly different roll of the “Darwinian dice”, Earth would have been inhabited by creatures unimaginable. Others argue that if there is biology elsewhere in the universe we would find it strikingly familiar down to the carbon-based machinery in its cells.

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“Lost Worlds” of the TESS Mission

"Lost Worlds" of the TESS Mission

 

A “lost world,” exoplanet NGTS-11b, the size and mass of Saturn with an orbit of thirty-five days around a star 620 light years away, is located five times closer to its sun than Earth is to our own. The planet is among hundreds of alien worlds that astronomers, using NASA’s alien-planet-hunting TESS telescope data, are pioneering a new method to track down and characterize in the hope of finding cooler, potentially habitable planets.

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“Eerie” –Billions-of-Years-Old Link Found Between Lightning and Earth’s Organisms

 

"Eerie" --Billions-of-Years-Old Link Found Between Lightning and Electrical Signals in Earth's Organisms

 

One of the great surprises of the twentieth century was the discovery of a universe driven by electric currents and punctuated by cosmic violence –from atomic particles to the largest galactic formations, a web of circuitry connects all of nature, organizing galaxies, energizing stars, giving birth to planets and, on our blue planet, controlling weather and biological organisms.

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Last Week’s Top 5 Space & Science Headlines –“Signals of Phantom Universe to End of Spacetime”

The Galaxy Insight --"“At One Time, We Thought the Way Life Came Together Was Almost Completely Random"

 

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