Would you like to participate in NASA’s analog research program? Interested in helping scientists pinpoint where to look for signs of life on Mars and elsewhere in the universe? Now you can, with an exciting new citizen science website called MAPPER (getmapper.com) that was launched in conjunction with the Pavilion Lake Research Project’s 2011 field season.
“A hundred years ago, Auguste Compte, … A great philosopher, said that humans will never be able to visit the stars, that we will never know what stars are made out of, that that’s the one thing that science will never ever understand, because they’re so far away. And then, just a few years later, scientists took starlight, ran it through a prism, looked at the rainbow coming from the starlight, and said: ‘Hydrogen!’ Just a few years after this very rational, very reasonable, very scientific prediction was made, that we’ll never know what stars are made of.”
“Our sun is one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies populating the universe. It would be the height of presumption to think that we are the only living things in that enormous immensity.”
-Werner von Braun
“Science has found not only that the universe has a reeling and ecstatic grandeur, not only that it is accessible to human understanding, but also that we are, in a very real and profound sense, a part of that cosmos, born from it, our fate deeply connected with it. The most basic human events and the most trivial trace back to the universe and it’s origins.”
NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty.
Two small depressions on Mars found to be rich in minerals that formed by water could have been places for life relatively recently in the planet’s history, according to a new paper in the journal Geology.
PLUTO could hide a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Indeed, other bodies on the solar system’s frigid fringe could also harbour subsurface oceans, and these could provide the conditions to sustain life.