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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Is there life on Mars?

No but there appears to be water on Ceres!

Which is amazingly exciting. We know there is ice in our solar system but actual water on and coming from Ceres is an amazing discovery. Especially as water - as far as we know it - is tied inevitably to life. This is a result of water being an ideal solvent for life processes to occur in.

Does this mean little green men? Well no but it does mean there is a chance for single-celled life to exist there - maybe multi-cellular but most probably single celled.

Actually it doesn't matter if its just the remains of life the chance that life has existed somewhere other than on Earth is still incredibly exciting!

This brings me to the excellent Bowie song. NASA are still investigating how a rock managed to appear in front of Opportunity recently. The chance is this is due to the rover itself dislodging and knocking the rock in front of itself. Still however anything out of the ordinary about Mars seems to capture our imagination and very quickly get reported all over the place. Well maybe not all over but it seems to be reported with more fervor than the Ceres discovery.

Which is strange as we all know how important water is for life!

However how many people know Europa has a surface covered in ice and an oxygen rich atmosphere?

Yet we still haven't fully investigated the possibility of life there, obviously the planets hold us in more thrall? Or maybe its just budgets can only stretch to missions in our local (ish area).

Actually scratch wanting to find out about life elsewhere in the universe, I think we need to first learn how to deal with life on Earth effectively!

Issues like this - sorry got massively side tracked with the senseless slaughter of dolphins in the week a new river dolphin species was discovered always remind me of this video by the too good for words Carl Sagan.

I have nothing more to add.

Chris

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