Data from the Cassini-Huygens satellite showing oxygen ions in the atmosphere around Saturns rings suggests once again that molecular oxygen alone isnt a reliable indicator of whether a planet can support life.
That and other data are outlined in two papers in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Science co-authored by University of Michigan engineering professors Tamas Gombosi, J. Hunter Waite and Kenneth Hansen; and T.E. Cravens from the University of Kansas. The papers belong to a series of publications on data collected by Cassini as it passed through the rings of Saturn on July 1.
Molecular oxygen forms when two oxygen atoms bond together and is known in chemical shorthand as O2. On Earth, it is a continual byproduct of plant respiration, and animals need this oxygen for life. But in Saturns atmosphere, molecular oxygen was created without life present, through a chemical reaction with the suns radiation and icy particles that comprise Saturns rings. "That means you dont need biology to produce an O2 atmosphere," Waite said. "If we want indicators to use in the search for life on other planets, we need to know what to look for. But oxygen alone isnt it."
Mary Nehls-Frumkin | EurekAlert!
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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