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astrobiology

number of breaks: 4

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Leveraging Earth to study how water formed on ancient Mars

Unlike our own Blue Planet, Mars is currently too cold to sustain liquid water at its surface. At first glance, Mars 4 billion years ago should have been even colder. Back then, the Sun's brightness was only about 70% of what it is today. Yet... click to read more

Views 693
Reading time 4 min
published on Apr 7, 2021
Are planets with oxygen-rich atmospheres rare?

Complex life on Earth requires oxygen. Understanding how oxygen levels have evolved on our planet can provide an insight into our own evolution and the possibility of complex life evolving elsewhere. Current theories suggest that Earth's O2 levels have risen three times over its 4.5... click to read more

  • Lewis Alcott | PhD student at University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • Benjamin Mills | Associate Professor at University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
Views 2622
Reading time 3 min
published on Aug 11, 2020
Lighting a candle in the dark

More than two billion years ago, a group of microorganisms called cyanobacteria invented oxygenic photosynthesis, the process that turns light, carbon dioxide, and water into chemical energy and oxygen. Cyanobacteria are the plants of the microbial world - in fact, plants can perform photosynthesis because... click to read more

Views 2111
Reading time 4 min
published on Jun 24, 2019
How to search for water on Mars

The presence of water is considered a necessary condition for the existence of life as we know it. Even if Mars is today a cold and arid place, there is ample evidence that things were different in the past, and that rivers, lakes and perhaps... click to read more

  • Roberto Orosei | Staff researcher at Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Istituto di Radioastronomia, Bologna, Italy
Views 2234
Reading time 4 min
published on Oct 1, 2018