Navigation Links
NASA probe could reveal comet life, scientists claim

Cardiff (UK) scientists are playing a major role in a NASA mission, which they believe could reveal living matter in the icy layers beneath the surface of a comet.

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft will make a historic encounter with Comet Tempel-1 on 4th July, when a metre-long projectile will crash into the comet and tunnel through its outer layers, producing a crater and a plume of gas and dust.

UK astronomers involved in monitoring the comet before, during and after the impact and interpreting the results include Cardiff University's Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and Dr Max Wallis at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology. They will conduct their study through instruments on the mother spacecraft.

The Cardiff scientists predict that Deep Impact will verify their theory that the outer crust of the comet will consist of asphalt-like material with permafrost beneath. The small icy fragments blasted out by the impact will include organic matter, they suggest.

The mainly copper projectile will hit the comet at 25,000 miles per hour and will penetrate 15-20 metres into the surface before exploding. The comet will remain intact despite losing a huge amount of material ?100,000 tonnes from a 100 metre diameter crater, and the impact is not expected to alter the comet's orbit.

"Not only is Deep Impact a spectacular experiment, it is also a test for our long-standing arguments," added Professor Wickramasinghe. "It will show, we believe, that a comet is not a rubble pile, nor a conglomerate of ices, but a porous mass of organics and ice under the black asphalt crust."

Comets are thought to have accumulated from a mixture of ices and organic interstellar dust at the time the solar system was formed some 4.6 billion years ago.

"This material is quite porous, so it is daring again to predict that subsurface ponds or lakes form transiently due to heat penetrating the exterior crust. We can thus expect biology on comets to have similarities with antarctic biology," added Professor Wickramasinghe.


'"/>

Source:Cardiff University


Related biology news :

1. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
2. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
3. Products containing specific probes for detecting alternative splice forms protected
4. Duke engineers develop new 3-D cardiac imaging probe
5. Agilent Technologies releases probe sequence, annotation information for all its commercial gene expression microarrays
6. A probe, not an echo
7. Montreal researchers probe the genetic basis of memory
8. MBL researchers probe how an ancient microbe thrives and evolves without sex
9. Smart nanoprobes light up disease
10. Magnetic probe successfully tracks implanted cells in cancer patients
11. MIT engineers probe spiders polymer art
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/20/2016)... RALEIGH, N.C. and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016 ... performance biometric data sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics ... across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today ... scalable development kit for biometric wearables that includes ... integrated with Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... -- The global wearable medical device market, in terms of value, ... 5.31 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.0% during the ... ... medical devices, launch of a growing number of smartphone-based healthcare apps ... providers, and increasing focus on physical fitness. Furthermore, ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Advancements in biometrics ... wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and security of ... new passenger vehicles begin to feature fingerprint ... heart beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, stress ... and pulse detection. These will be driven ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017  HUYA Bioscience International, (HUYA), the leader ... pharmaceutical innovations, announced today a strategic collaboration ... Investment Company (referred to as CAS Innovation). The collaboration ... by leading scientists at CAS to meet the medical ... is the first company to have recognized ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. (TSX-V: SQD; ... that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products ... today announced that Cameron Prange , President ... from its Board of Directors.  Mr. Prange,s resignation ... that have limited both his ability to act ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... LGC Maine Standards ... VALIDATE® SP2 calibration verification / linearity test kit. VALIDATE® SP2 evaluates Albumin, C-reactive ... SP2 kit is prepared using the CLSI recommended “equal delta” method for linearity ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 The ... at a CAGR of around 7.5% over the ... 2025. Some of the prominent trends that the ... incidences of diseases & graft transplant surgeries and ... Material the market is categorized into immunomodulatory biomaterials, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: