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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Universe in 101 words: Should we look for life in the asteroid belt?

Look at where NASA sends its missions and one world stands out: Mars.

Why? Mars may hold The Big Discovery - alien life (however humble). But what if Mars isn't, after all, the best place to look?

The dwarf planet Ceres, in the asteroid belt,  has had the ingredients of life - liquid water and carbon chemistry - near its surface geologically recently*. It's gravity is far lower than Mars, a major advantage if you want to collect samples from it, nor does it have Mars´ deadly weather. 

Perhaps its time for a lander to Ceres...

*So not at all recently, but not so mind buggeringly long ago as a lot of the things in the universe.

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