Findings by Mars Rover could change our place in the Universe. (Update 11/26/12 – KnowledgeOrb has learned that the announcement from NASA about SAM findings will be on 12/3/12) Recently NASA stated an “announcement for the history books” would be coming from the Mars Curiosity Rover team. This announcement concerns findings from the soil samples recently analyzed by the SAM (Sample Analysis at MARS) instrument. This instrument was designed to address the present and past habitability of Mars by exploring molecular and elemental chemistry relevant to life. SAM looks at carbon chemistry through a search for organic compounds, the chemical state of light elements other than carbon, and isotopic tracers of planetary change. a suite of three instruments, Instruments on SAM including a mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph, and tunable laser spectrometer What this announcement could be we don’t yet know but the SAM instrument was designed to find signs of life. Because these compounds are essential to life as we know it, their relative abundances will be an essential piece of information for evaluating whether Mars could have supported [...]
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Every day were closer to finding an intelligent species outside our solar system, let us know what you would have to say once that happened. Kepler and other observatories find planets on almost a daily basis now. Were finding Earth sized planets and planets in that magical habitable zone which supports life. Earthlings and programs like SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, are not just randomly searching the sky for radio signals any longer. We now can narrow the focus to place we know have planets, and not only that, planets that have a chance to support life. If it is out there we will find it, hopefully sooner rather than later. What would you have to say to your fellow Earthlings, to the aliens once that happened. We want you to tell us here. This is the scenario for our experiment. SETI has discovered a radio signal emanating from our closest neighbor Alpha Centauri. As you may have read here on KnowledgeOrb scientists have just discovered an Earth sized planet there. This signal, although weak has been confirmed by other ground based receivers all over [...]
ESA (European Space Agency) has announced they will lunch a satellite called Cheops – (CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite) in 2017 The mission will study near, bright stars that are already know to have planets around them. The satellite will use the transit method of detection which uses high-precision monitoring of the star’s brightness, scientists will search for the telltale signs of a planet as it passes briefly across the stars face. This will allow an accurate measurement of the radius of the planet. For those planets with a known mass, the density will be revealed, providing an indication of the internal structure. Cheops is the first of a what could be a new class of small missions to be developed as part of ESA’s Science Programme. “By concentrating on specific known exoplanet host stars, Cheops will enable scientists to conduct comparative studies of planets down to the mass of Earth with a precision that simply cannot be achieved from the ground,” said Professor Alvaro Giménez-Cañete, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration. “The mission was selected [...]