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Used to search for life on Mars.
A hardy robot from Carnegie Mellon has found life in Chile's Atacama desert; one of the driest and most lifeless places on Earth. Life is barely detectable over most parts of Atacama, but the rover (named ZoŽ) was able to detect lichens and bacterial colonies in two regions that it explored. The solar-powered rover provides a good example of the kind of technology that will probably used to search for life on Mars. Next year ZoŽ will travel autonomously for two months, travelling 50 km in the search for life.
European Astronomers have found a group of stars in the Omega Centauri globular cluster which seem to be some of the most rich in helium ever seen. These are bluer stars, and Astronomers would expect that they contained lighter elements, but the team found exactly the opposite - they have more heavy elements than red stars. One theory to explain this is that previous generations of stars exploded as supernovae, and seeded the region with helium and heavier elements. These blue stars then formed from this material.
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