extra extra newspaperScientists find a martian igneous rock that is surprisingly Earth-like
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 01, 2013 – During the nearly 14 months that it has spent on the red planet, Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, has scooped soil, drilled rocks, and analyzed samples by exposing them to laser beams, X-rays, and alpha particles using the most sophisticated suite of scientific instruments ever deployed on another planet. One result of this effort was evidence reported last March that ancient … more

Ancient soils reveal clues to early life on Earth
Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Sep 30, 2013 – Oxygen appeared in the atmosphere up to 700 million years earlier than we previously thought, according to research published today in the journal Nature, raising new questions about the evolution of early life. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and University of British Columbia examined the chemical composition of three-billion-year-old soils from South Africa – the oldest so … more

Breathing underwater: Evidence of microscopic life in oceanic crust
East Boothbay, ME (SPX) Sep 30, 2013 – Although long thought to be devoid of life, the bottom of the deep ocean is now known to harbor entire ecosystems teeming with microbes. Scientists have recently documented that oxygen is disappearing from seawater circulating through deep oceanic crust, a significant first step in understanding the way life in the “deep biosphere” beneath the sea floor is able to survive and thrive. The n … more

NASA Rover Inspects Pebbly Rocks at Martian Waypoint
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 30, 2013 – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has resumed a trek of many months toward its mountain-slope destination, Mount Sharp. The rover used instruments on its arm last week to inspect rocks at its first waypoint along the route inside Gale Crater. The location, originally chosen on the basis of images taken from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, paid off with investigation of targets that bear evid … more