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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Life on Mars?

Some interesting reports to keep the life on Mars controversy bubbling. Experiments with bacteria from extreme environments show that they can survive under the conditions of current Mars soil. As well, experiments have shown that the Viking Lander Mass Spectrometer, which was supposed to pick up evidence of organic matter on Mars, was too insensitive. It was unable to detect the organics in soil from Antarctic dry valleys, where there are indeed living, respiring bacteria. So there still remains the possibility that Martian bacteria are hiding in the soils there (I won't get excited until Martian bacteria are actually cultured, myself).

As well, check out this great virtual reality flyby of the Face on Mars, courtesy of the ESA (hat tip to the Bad Astronomer).

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