Fifteen years ago, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express probe revealed the presence of large deep deposits on Mars, in an area called the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF), located at its equator. Now, new data from the probe's MARSIS radar indicate that the deposits are deeper than previously thought - up to 3.7 kilometers thick - and include both ice-rich and dusty layers. The results are published in Geophysical Research Letters.
A Japanese research team has announced in Nature Communications that it found uracil, a component necessary to form RNA, in a small sample collected from the asteroid Ryugu. According to the authors, these results indicate that these molecules of prebiotic interest were commonly formed on asteroids like Ryugu, and reached the early Earth with the impact of these bodies. The sample was collected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 robotic spacecraft, which returned to Earth in December 2020.
Based on a model, a study theorises that Mars may have been habitable for microorganisms 3.7 billion years ago, according to the journal Nature Astronomy.
Reactions to the proposal that features on the moon Europa may be due to the presence of liquid water
A study based on observations of the Greenland ice sheet, published in Nature Communications, suggests that there may be shallow liquid water on Jupiter's moon Europa. The finding could provide insights into the geophysical processes that formed the moon.