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Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

The Sciences

Veins, not Flowers, on Mars

The 'John Klein' rock surface, target for drilling. Scale of image is approximately 1 meter across. Image has been white-balanced to mimic Earth-illumination (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) NASA's Curiosity rover is preparing to drill for the first time, into what appears to be sedimentary rock criss-crossed by mineral-filled veins.    Back in September last year the Mars Science Laboratory carried by the rover found a rocky outcrop on the wall of Gale Crater that was full of a crusty mix of cemented pebbles...

January 18, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf

Lake Vostok Water Ice Has Been Obtained

Cross-sectional map of Lake Vostok situation (before drilling was complete) (Credt: National Science Foundation) Break out the vodka. The first confirmed sample of water from the subsurface Lake Vostok in Antarctica has been retrieved.Almost a year ago, in February 2012 Russian scientists and engineers drilled to a depth of nearly 4,000 meters in the ice above Lake Vostok - a 1,300 cubic mile volume of liquid water thought to have formed some 20 million years ago and to have been effectively isolated from the outside world for at least 100,000 years and possibly for millions of years...

January 13, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Sciences

So You're a Scientist Wanting to Write a Popular Science Book?

You look familiar.... (Credit: NY Zoological Society) About three years ago I had an epiphany, or maybe it was a small bout of lunacy. I realized that I wanted to try to write a real book - something that wasn't just another peer-reviewed journal article reporting the minutiae of a piece of research that precisely ten other people on the planet were genuinely interested in (one posthumously).And so I did.Except it wasn't quite that straightforward, and I thought I'd share a few experiences with any of you considering taking this plunge.First, let me be clear that I think that I have been incredibly, almost unbelievably lucky in how things have played out...

January 3, 2013 — Caleb A. Scharf

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