Feeds

NASA takes alien hunt to Mexico

Take us to your leader

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

NASA scientists are reportedly turning to Mexico for help in their search for extraterrestrial life. The space agency believes that a network of 170 lakes around the town of Cuatro Cienegas could hold clues to the conditions prevalent on Earth when life began.

The lakes, which have a species diversity that rivals the Galapagos Islands, were formed by a departing sea, around 100 million years ago. They also contain clumps of calcified bacteria, called stromatolites. Within these rocky structures, conditions are similar to those on Young Earth.

NASA researchers think that by studying conditions at the lakes, they will be able to work out what kind of atmospheric conditions would be created by primitive life, Reuters reports, so that they will recognise it when they see it on other planets.

The hunt for rocky planets will begin in earnest when NASA launches its planned "Terrestrial Planet Finder" telescope in 2014. This will be able to take pictures of rocky worlds orbiting stars as many as 45 light-years away. Currently, although scientists have identified nearly 150 extrasolar planets, all of them are gas giants, bigger than Jupiter.

Researchers have collected gas readings, chemical samples and cell samples from the bacteria. The results will be used to fine-tune computer models of life-friendly atmospheres on various simulated planets. ®

Related stories

NASA catches light from another planet
Astronomers eyeball smallest star yet
Frozen sea on Mars hints at alien life

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.