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Tag: Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences

Is Anything Tough Enough to Survive on Mars?

Researchers at the University of Arkansas recently took a step toward answering a question for the ages: Is there life on Mars? Answer: they can’t rule it out. Two recent publications suggest that life, in the form of ancient, simple organisms called methanogens, could survive the harsh conditions found near the surface of Mars, and deep in its soils. Using methanogens to test for survivability is particularly relevant because scientists have detected their byproduct, methane, in the Martian atmosphere. On Earth, methane is strongly associated with organic matter, though there are non-organic sources of the gas, including volcanic eruptions....

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From Bee Branch to the Universe

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 25 years ago, on April 25, 1990. The anniversary itself launched a wave of media coverage, because 25 years in space is a long time. Apart from longevity, the Hubble is one of science’s great hero-to-zero-to hero tales. After more than a decade in development, the Hubble was sent aloft on promises that it would be the biggest thing in astronomy since Galileo put his eye to a telescope. When the first pictures came back, however, they were blurry. The main mirror was out of whack by a dimension 1/50th the thickness of...

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