Regina Carns's Blog (9)

Fire and Ice: Starting Up the Snowball

I attended a talk last week by Francis Macdonald, discussing his work on Snowball Earth geology. He touched on the "Fire and Ice" hypothesis for the initiation of the Snowball, and I thought I would interpret it in ballad form. Needs a little work and maybe another verse, so feel free to critique. 

In late Proterozoic times 

the Earth was calm and warm

A billion peaceful years since the

Great…

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Added by Regina Carns on February 17, 2015 at 10:23pm — No Comments

Self-defense

Well, that was a somewhat protracted hiatus. I think my muse was in hibernation. In any case, she rose to the occasion when I defended my Ph.D. a couple of weeks ago, and here's how I summed up my talk: 

“Measured and modeled albedos of sea-ice surfaces on the oceans of Snowball Earth”

A planet orbits round a yellow sun

Light years away or megayears ago

Its seas are dark, its continent is dun

But brilliant sea ice sets its pole aglow

Its CO2…

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Added by Regina Carns on January 30, 2015 at 6:12pm — 2 Comments

Photons plus Atmosphere equals Awesomeness

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. My muse sort of went into hibernation for a bit after my general exam. Actually, I suppose this particular blog would be a collaboration between muses, if we're going with the classical categorizations: Euterpe (lyric poetry), Urania (astronomy), and sometimes Thalia (comedy.)

Anyway, here's a sonnet inspired by the Radiative Transfer (that is, the interaction of sunlight and infrared radiation with the atmosphere) course I'm taking this…

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Added by Regina Carns on November 21, 2013 at 3:08pm — No Comments

Notes from a Defense

I wrote this while my friend and colleague Marcela Ewert presented her work at her Ph.D. defense. She's been doing a lot of really cool work about how Arctic microbes make their living despite the temperature and salinity extremes found in the sea ice and in the snow that rests on it. Here's a link to some of the work included in her dissertation.

Jargon note: exopolysaccharides, also known as…

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Added by Regina Carns on July 27, 2013 at 7:32pm — 3 Comments

Drake Made A Little List

Here's a little something about the Drake Equation, based on the song "I've Got a Little List" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" (here's a rather good modern take on it by Opera Australia.)

To answer those who ask why there's no aliens around

I've got a little list

I've got a little list

Of factors that when multiplied say whether they're not…

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Added by Regina Carns on July 13, 2013 at 12:57am — No Comments

Sing a Song of Spaceflight

I've been working on lyrics to a Gilbert and Sullivan pastiche about the Drake Equation, but it's going a bit slowly. In the meantime, here is my version of "Wild Rover", which I sang at our local Chantey Sing a while back (the Chantey Sing is a get-together where people take turns leading the group in singing old sailors' work songs and other nautical music.) As I explained to the folks there, these days the exploration of unknown…

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Added by Regina Carns on July 5, 2013 at 1:41am — 3 Comments

Tiny Submarine

As you may know, the oceans of Europa are sequestered underneath a layer of ice which is probably ten or twenty kilometers thick. This makes them a little tricky to access, especially given the limited resources available to a logistically-feasible lander. So I was intrigued by this article about a highly miniaturized submersible vehicle that wouldn't require much energy to transport…

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Added by Regina Carns on June 20, 2013 at 8:05pm — No Comments

Scatter, Adapt and Remember

Last month I went to see a talk by Annalee Newitz of io9.com about her new book, Scatter, Adapt and Remember. In the talk, she went over some of Earth's previous mass extinctions and their notable survivors, and discussed how humanity might manage to make it through the next one, whatever its cause might be.



It was an excellent talk and it inspired me to write the…

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Added by Regina Carns on June 9, 2013 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

A S.A.G.A.N. Double Dactyl

Higgledy piggledy
Sanjoy is following
Footsteps our old mentor
Carl had tread

Building a website where
Astrobiologists
Socially network
And help science spread

Added by Regina Carns on June 4, 2013 at 2:10pm — No Comments

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Using tried and tested methods of constructing habitats from ethnobotanical and ethnozoological useful species for self sustainability on Mars

Posted by Andrew Planet on June 26, 2020 at 8:00am 0 Comments

To maximize crop yields on Mars it would be advantageous to do away with annuals and biannuals by engineering the latter into perennials as standard. Not only would that entail far less work to grow produce as the act of replanting is made obsolete, but per given cultivated area perennials bring forth more food and materials with less demand from the soil than the equivalent of annuals.

Imagine a superfood annual such as lentils engineered into a lentil tree for which there already…

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Free astrobiology webinars for kids, summer 2020

Posted by Julia Brodsky on June 13, 2020 at 12:28pm 0 Comments

This summer, Art of Inquiry hosts free space exploration and astrobiology webinars for middle-school students and their families all over the world.



Here is a list of what was covered so far, as well as an updated schedule of webinars:

The search for life in the Universe, Dr. Alex Tsapin, JPL (retired)

The history of SETI, SETIQuest editor, Larry…

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Radiolysis-powered life

Posted by Andrew Planet on June 11, 2020 at 9:56pm 7 Comments

This paper greatly extends the possibility of what a Goldilocks zone can be.  Its no longer the Goldilocks zone as a single expanse, its the Goldilocks zones for a particular area

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsif.2016.0459

¿Are the Venusian sulphuric acid clouds the by product of long dead anoxogenic photosynthetic organisms?

Posted by Andrew Planet on May 4, 2020 at 2:51pm 2 Comments

I just read the piece at the link below entitled "Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world."

I'd been thinking on similar lines recently, on different atmospheres with early life, but I was considering anoxogenic bacteria whose byproduct is sulfur instead of molecular oxygen. ¿Had life evolved on Venus could its sulfuric clouds be the signature byproduct of such life with no branches ever evolving to produce the equivalent of Earth's Great…

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Ask your questions here!

Started by Gina Riggio in SAGANet Discussions. Last reply by Pritha Jaipal yesterday. 127 Replies

If you are trying to ask a question live during Ask an Astrobiologist, please do so in the main chatroom at the bottom of the screen! You can also ask on twitter…Continue

Inhabitation on mars, with plants or without?

Started by Chirag Parmar in The Cutting-Edge of Astrobiology. Last reply by Chirag Parmar on Monday. 2 Replies

hello there, Chirag Parmar this side!i am a biotechnology student and currently on research of plants on other planets! The main issue is the gravity of the planet! If we take mars as an example, the…Continue

Tags: #plantsonplanets, #mars, #plants

Have we been looking in the wrong time-frame? Requesting feedback on a recent paper.

Started by Christopher J Reiss in The Cutting-Edge of Astrobiology. Last reply by Greg Bowen Jun 30. 5 Replies

Let me first say Hi to everyone as a new member here!   I hope you are all safe, sound, and not too stir-crazy during this Pandemic.I recently stumbled upon a notion for SETI which seems so simple I…Continue

Interactive Online Astrobiology for 10-12 yr olds

Started by Julia Brodsky in Education and Public Outreach Mar 9. 0 Replies

If your 10-12 yr old child is interested in space science, I would like to invite them to our courses. I am a former science teacher,  mom of three, and a former NASA astronaut instructor. I also…Continue

Tags: school, education, middle, astrobiology, STEM

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