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Nicaraguan volcanoes and life on Mars 29 September 2008

Posted by admin in Cerro Negro, current research, Mars, Nicaragua, solar system.
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‘Although volcanoes on Mars today are dormant or extinct’, says the summary of this Astrobiology Magazine story, ‘in the distant past the Red Planet was literally a hotbed of volcanic activity’. Yes, literally a hotbed. ‘Cerro Negro, an active volcano in Nicaragua, offers clues to what the martian era of fire and brimstone may have been like – and what types of organisms could have lived in that superheated world’.

It seems Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America (born April 1850), offers Martian-type basalts that can provide terrestrial analogs to possible conditions in and around the volcanoes of Mars back in the ‘martian era of fire and brimstone’. To find out more, take a look at ‘Nicaraguan volcano provides insight into early Mars’ at Astrobio.net.

The Volcanism Blog

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Extraterrestrial volcanism on Io at Geology News 23 September 2008

Posted by admin in blogs, geoscience, solar system.
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Io's Tvashtar volcano erupting (NASA image)

There is a superb post about Jupiter’s highly volcanically active moon Io over at Geology News. This kind of richly-illustrated, detailed article really is the geoblogosphere at its best, and is one of Dave Schumaker’s two contributions to what promises to be a first-rate Accretionary Wedge on ‘Geology in Space’. Highly recommended – go and take a look.

N.B. Geology News has passed the 400 posts milestone – congratulations!

Picture: NASA New Horizons image of Io’s Tvashtar volcano erupting (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute). Source page and more information here.

The Volcanism Blog