The rare molecule weighing in on the birth of planets

Astronomers using one of the most advanced radio telescopes have discovered a rare molecule in the dust and gas disc around a young star—and it may provide an answer to one of the conundrums facing astronomers.

Atacama Desert microbes may hold clues to life on Mars

Microbial life on Mars may potentially be transported across the planet on dust particles carried by wind, according to a study conducted in the Atacama Desert in North Chile, a well-known Mars analogue. The findings are ...

Chile, Argentina prepare for spectacular solar eclipse

Day will briefly turn to night Tuesday over large parts of Chile and Argentina as a total eclipse of the Sun plunges a vast swath of the southern Pacific and the cone of South America into darkness.

Clues to Martian life found in Chilean desert

A robotic rover deployed in the most Mars-like environment on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, has successfully recovered subsurface soil samples during a trial mission to find signs of life. The samples contained unusual ...

Is Mars' soil too dry to sustain life?

Life as we know it needs water to thrive. Even so, we see life persist in the driest environments on Earth. But how dry is too dry? At what point is an environment too extreme for even microorganisms, the smallest and often ...

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