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Posts Tagged ‘Extremophiles’

This story in New Scientist Magazine caught my attention several weeks ago – “Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface”.  Here is a link to the original story. Scientists are using the extreme environment of Boulby mine, a working salt mine in north-east England to look for extremophiles, the kinds of organisms which are able to live (and even flourish) in environments which we human beings would simply find impossible.

Scientists believe that the environment found in Boulby mine could be similar to environments found on Mars, so studying the extremophiles found deep underground in Boulby mine should help us in our quest to find evidence for life on other planets. This work will help NASA’s various rovers (both present and future ones) look in the most promising places for alien-life on the red planet.

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A few weeks ago I was asked to talk on the evening radio news about the firing of a penetrator into a large block of ice in Pendine, West Wales, which I did not know about until the BBC called me.


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The basic idea of the test was to determine some important parameters for the hoped-for one day penetration of the ice sheet of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Europa, one of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, is thought to be one of the most likely places in our Solar System to be supporting life. This is because we know that, below a sheet of ice, there is a liquid ocean. As water is synonymous with life in our Earth-centric view of what is necessary for life, Europa is at the top of most likely places to find extra-terrestrial life.


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hello there, waht is this we have here


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