space news from around the webin association with SpaceNews

Magnetite crystals latest evidence for ancient Martian life
Posted: Mon, Feb 26, 2001, 9:51 PM ET (0251 GMT)
Magnetite chain found in ALH84001 Scientists have found what they claim to be "compelling evidence" that magnetite crystals in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 have a biological origin. In a pair of papers to be published in the February 27th issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists reported that both individual magnetite crystals, as well as long chains of the mineral, have features that could only exist had they been formed by primitive life forms. One group, led by Kathie Thomas-Keprta of NASA's Johnson Space Center, found that magnetite crystals found in the meteorite are identical to those created on Earth only by a strain of bacteria. Another group, led by Imre Friedmann of NASA's Ames Research Center, found that magnetite crystals formed chains somewhat like a string of pearls that, outside of an organism, would immediately collapse. These papers are the latest volleys in a 4 ½ year debate on evidence for ancient primitive Martian life in the meteorite, dating back to an August 1996 paper in the journal Science by a team that included Thomas-Keprta that used magnetite crystals as one of several lines of evidence that the meteorite was proof that life once existed on the Red Planet. These papers are unlikely to be the last words on the subject, either: Ralph Harvey, a scientist who has argued against a biogenic origin for the magnetite crystals in the past, told the Associated Press that it was "hasty" to rule out an inorganic method for creating the magnetite, noting that Thomas-Keprta's group focused on only a small fraction of the magnetite crystals in the meteorite.
<<previous article   next article>>
news in brief
Russia plans to resume crewed Soyuz launches in December
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 9:00 AM ET (1400 GMT)

China launches Beidou satellite
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 8:59 AM ET (1359 GMT)

Dawn mission declared over
Posted: Sun, Nov 4 8:58 AM ET (1358 GMT)

news links
Thursday, November 15
ULA demos Vulcan Centaur rocket assembly, shows new welders
WAAY-TV Huntsville, AL — 5:37 am ET (1037 GMT)
1st Daytime Florida Launch in Months to Bring Heavy Crowds
Spectrum News — 5:35 am ET (1035 GMT)
Humans need Mars as a 'plan B' to avoid extinction, says physicist Michio Kaku
Australian Broadcasting Corporation — 5:31 am ET (1031 GMT)

about   ·   ·   mailing list