This week’s alien and space news has mostly been about aliens and planets, rather than space flight and trying to discover aliens. From investigating planets with conditions ripe for extraterrestrials to figuring out if life in space could survive, it’s been an interesting week for life in all forms and fashions.
Life on Phobos From Life on Mars, and General Life Swaps Everywhere: With as much as the question about life on Mars goes back and forth, it probably won’t be answered until we go there ourselves. But Professor Melosh from
says a mission to Phobos
might do just as well. This is based on all the debris that regularly goes
flying off Mars in the event of some sort of impact. A second interesting point
as almost at the end of the article, when another scientists notes that about a
ton of Martian materials hits Earth annually – if we’re swapping so much with
other planets, where does the line between terrestrial and extraterrestrial
fall? Purdue University
The Surprisingly Jello-Like Titan: Saturn’s moon Titan is bulging far more than it should. If the moon were solid rock, then the effect of Saturn’s gravity would cause 3 feet ‘tides,’ but instead it’s causing ones that are 30 feet high. Because of this, NASA researchers think there is a underground ocean. And oceans dramatically increase the likelihood of life or, at the very least, a potential spot for a base or colony.
In an Evaporating Atmosphere Far, Far Away: Sometimes sticking with planets inside our own solar system doesn’t do justice to the absolute weirdness out there in the universe. Hubble has been observing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets and found a particularly interesting case around a planet extremely close to a sun far more powerful than our own. It has a blue sky – which the article quickly notes is the only similarity to Earth – and an evaporating atmosphere, which makes for some pretty strange weather.
Back in the Meteorite of ’69: Scientists analyzing the Allende meteorite found what might be one of the oldest minerals in our solar system: a titanium oxide named Panguite. Scientists from a variety of universities and national organizations are exclaiming over this discovery not only because it’s a mineral that had never been found or created before, but because it could reveal quite a lot about the origins of the solar system.
Panspermia Just Got a Bit More Likely: The idea that life can spread from planet to planet on the backs of space junk and debris has always gotten a bit of a titter. But a recent experiment in seeing if lichen, seeds, bacteria, and algae could survive in space without any protection just came back positive. Lichen, at the very least, goes into a dormant state until they arrive at a place with more livable conditions. And doesn’t that raise all sorts of interesting possibilities?
Interested in alien-related science news? Check out last week's news snippets: July 23, 2012: This Week's Alien and Space News
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Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.