soil sample

7 Stories

Researchers Solve Piece of Easter Island Mystery

The ongoing debate: Did Rapa Nui do themselves in, or are Europeans to blame?

(Newser) - The ongoing debate over what prompted the decline of Easter Island's native Polynesian inhabitants, known as Rapa Nui, is being clarified by scientists digging for answers in the soil. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , an international team of researchers explain that they examined agricultural... More »

Martian Soil Is a Lot Like ... Hawaii's?

Curiosity scans soil sample

(Newser) - Aloha, Mars! The Curiosity rover has scanned a sample of Martian soil, and the ground composition on the Red Planet isn't all that unlike Hawaii's, reports the BBC . It's not a huge surprise to NASA scientists, who theorized that the soil would be comprised of "materials... More »

Comet Might Not Have Killed Mammoths After All: Study

Peat bog analysis contradicts cometary impact theory

(Newser) - New evidence undermines the theory that the impact from a comet killed off the woolly mammoth and enough humans to end the prehistoric Clovis culture, the BBC reports. Supporters of the impact theory point to a planet-wide rash of wildfires, but while a new analysis of sediment under North American... More »

Mars Lander Falls Silent

Phoenix lacks the solar power to continue its mission

(Newser) - The Martian autumn has cut power to NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, ending its mission of scientific discovery, NASA reports. As anticipated, shorter days and increasingly overcast skies are preventing sufficient solar energy from reaching the lander’s power cells. It has already collected data for 2 months longer than... More »

'You Might Be Able to Grow Asparagus' on Mars

'Flabbergasted' scientists see soil able to support life on red planet

(Newser) - Samples of Martian soil analyzed by instruments onboard the Phoenix lander have earth-bound scientists “flabbergasted.” Why? Readings indicate that the extraterrestrial loam could, perhaps has, and possibly will, support life, Reuters reports. Along with ice the lander discovered earlier, “We basically have found what appears to be... More »

Shake 'N Bake: Unclogged Phoenix Ovens Ready

Scientists hope cooking Martian soil will yield clues to its nature

(Newser) - Scientists were cheering yesterday after a tricky operation succeeded in shaking Martian dirt into the Phoenix lander's oven, the Los Angeles Times. The spacecraft will now spend the next few weeks heating up soil samples and analyzing gases. Scientists hope the tests and photos being sent back today will help... More »

NASA Deploys Mars Probe's Robotic Arm

Radio glitch delays plan by 1 day

(Newser) - NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander extended its robotic arm for the first time late last night, the AP reports, a day late because of a temporary radio blackout. The arm, which will unfurl over a 2-day period, will eventually be used to take samples of ice below the surface in... More »

7 Stories