12

First of all, rocks from Earth are probably just about everywhere in the Solar System. One simple example is this rock found on the Moon. A number of pieces of Mars have been found on Earth, and if that has happened, no doubt there are Earth rocks on Mars. If Earth life can survive a vacuum it has probably gotten to everywhere in the Solar System anyways. ...


10

One tool in the astrobiology toolbox is chirality, the property that many chemical compounds exist as "left-handed" and "right-handed" mirror images. These have the exact same properties of course, as they are the exact same compounds. But biochemical processes will typically only be able to produce one of them. Which means that if a ...


7

For free, but low-resolution: Small versions of all1 the images are included in the book Murmurs of Earth by Sagan etc. Chapter 3 "Pictures of Earth" includes a visual index and then slightly higher quality versions of each picture1. Some are even in color. Descriptive text is included for each image. You can check it out and see them at the ...


5

Google searching for "carol stoker chlorophyll" found this Slashdot comment from April 2002 commenting on the controversy, particularly around a BBC article that described the situation in slightly overhyped detail. The comment included a verbatim quote of a poster abstract that was to be presented at the second Astrobiology Science Conference ...


4

That's Not How Science Works We don't need an explanation for the Fermi paradox, because we have no evidence that needs explaining. We have a sample size of exactly one when it comes to life in the universe, and we can't draw scientific conclusions from that. Of course, scientists love to speculate like everyone else, so lots of them have opined on ...


3

I think it does not have the ability to detect it. What was observed (or may not have been observed now) was a rotational transition at $267\,\mathrm{GHz}$ or about $1.123\,\mathrm{mm}$. Akatsuki's instruments are all in or around the visible spectrum: it has instruments which work from $\sim 250\,\mathrm{nm}$ to $\sim 10\,\mathrm{\mu m}$ I think, probably ...


3

Apparently some people in Japan think so! From today's BBC's Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk: Sumitomo Forestry said it has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space. The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth. and later "We are very ...


2

TL;DR: Mars had a long-term increase in eccentricity from a minimum of 0.079 about 19 millennia ago and will be about 0.105 after about 24 millennia from now (perihelion distances about 1.3621 AU). During its early stages, the orbit was nearly circular (0.002 at 1.35 million years ago, and will be about 0.01 a million years into the future. This change in ...


2

One key aspect not mentioned so far is the possibility of contamination of Mars with Earth life that is not due to a failure of planetary protection. Carl Sagan was one of the first to suggest the possibility of cross contamination of life between Mars and Earth due to asteroid impacts as mentioned in his Cosmos series and as chronicled in "Carl Sagan'...


2

First of all, some effort is made to prevent contamination by earth organisms for precisely this reason, but it is not perfect. But, if scientists do detect life it will probably be possible to tell that it is not of earthly origin. Here are some possible lines of evidence: Biochemistry is complicated. We don't know that DNA is the only way genetic ...


1

No. Ingenuity's purpose is just to demonstrate that we can fly on Mars, as has been stated many times throught NASA and ULA webcasts of the launch and landing. Perserverance is the only one that will be searching for life. It would make no sense for NASA to a camera that could search for microbial life when it would never use a camera on Ingenuity for that ...


1

Yes, it is completely possible, in fact the Earth's atmosphere was transformed by simple organisms, albeit over many millions of years. Undoubtedly we will at some point in the near future be able to design bacteria and other life forms that can survive extreme environments and metabolize elements into oxygen and other components that we need to survive. It'...


1

The images in question were copied onto the disk with permission of the copyright holder. There are two copies of the disk that were placed specifically to be found and read by intelligent life. Both are currently still in the Sol system. One can be found in the direction of the very bright star Sirius and the other about halfway between the Big Dipper and ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible