The past month has seen several fairly major developments with regards to the discovery of organic molecules at different locations in the solar system. First NASA announced the discovery of variations in methane concentrations on Mars, followed by the discovery of organic molecules in Martian mudstone. More recently it was revealed that the Cassini probe had observed even more massive organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. What is it about these discoveries that point to the possibility of life elsewhere in the Solar-system?
The observation of a planet forming from stellar material, gas and dust surrounding its parent star, has eluded astronomers for decades. Now, in research published in the latest edition of journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, two teams document the discovery of a forming exoplanet finding the process may be more complicated than previously believed.
Following the discovery of methane in rock and soil on Mars earlier this month it would seem that the solar system’s previous most likely seat of life, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, wasn’t quite ready to relinquish its title so soon. Spectral analysis from NASA’s Cassini probe has revealed the presence of complex organic molecules ejected from the moon’s icy surface, it was announced in a press release today. And in the fashion of true one-upmanship, the molecules found on Enceladus are over ten times greater in mass than methane.
One of the most pressing potential ecological disasters faced in the near-future is the decline in the population of various species of bees. New research has indicated that this decline may be a result of a multitude of hitherto undiscovered viruses affecting the bee. Despite the fact that bees are considered vitally important to our ecosystems due to their role as pollinators, up until now scientists have known relatively little about the viruses that affect them.
The story “Ditch pills to beat heart disease” was published on the front page of Daily Express this week. It builds on the statements of doctor Aseem Malhotra and his controversial book, the Pioppi Diet and seems to have no basis in science what-so-ever. The article not only offers health advice that runs contrary to medical consensus, it actively encourages sufferers of cardiovascular disease to stop taking their medication.
The science dispatches for the second week in June 2018. Martian dust storms have halted the progress of NASA’s Opportunity rover. Researchers find a new way of detecting exoplanets around young stars. Work begins on an upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider. And President Trump’s pick for the head of NASA, Jim Bridenstine, shows a positive change in attitude towards climate change.