Thanks to a surface covered in liquid water, Jupiter's moon Europa serves as the prime suspect for bodies in our solar system harboring extraterrestrial life. For the most part though, speculation has assumed the life on Europa would be microscopic, similar to the chemical and rock-eating microbes found atop undersea volcanic vents on Earth. However, a new study estimates the level of oxygen in Europa's seas may be high enough to support fish-sized life. Hello, alien sushi.
This week, new photos of our moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showed what we already know: the orbiting rock has a lot of craters, but no signs of life. But scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany have revealed new findings that there is another moon worthy of intensive exploration -- and perhaps even a visit at some future date.
Nearly four billion years ago, the Earth was pummeled by asteroids -- some as large as the state of Kansas -- during an episode known as the "Late Heavy Bombardment." Now, scientists believe that bombardment phase may have jump-started early microbial life. The results also lend support to the possibility of extreme microbial life on other planets like Mars, and perhaps even on Earth-like planets in other solar systems that may have undergone similar bombardment phases.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are one of the last places on Earth you would expect to find a new living organism. With bitter cold temperatures and only about four inches of annual snowfall, scientists consider these valleys to be one of Earth's most extreme and harsh environments.
The region was believed to be devoid of complex animal and plant life, but a new study has revealed that an unusual microbial life form lives under the Taylor Glacier -- an outlet glacier that drains part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and terminates in the Dry Valleys.
In light of the ongoing world financial collapse, here's a tip to banks: take a look at your customers. A new study suggests that a person's creditworthiness can be seen in his or her face. And here's a tip to would-be borrowers: try not to look shifty. (Points off from the article, though, for not explaining what exactly that means, though.)
Also in today's links: hilarious species names, the next level of smart in phones, and more.
The National Archives releases old UFO-related case reports
By Gregory MonePosted 05.14.2008 at 11:24 am 1 Comment
At 4 PM on April 19, 1984, a team of air traffic controllers at an airport in the east of England reportedly watched a strange, bright, circular vehicle touch down, then blast off again at a tremendous speed and with a near vertical trajectory. Although they didn't want their names to be included in the report covering the event, they believed it was a UFO. And they were sober.