First Short Story Collection Released

We are pleased to announce that the first volume of the Blue Marble Space Short Story Collection is now available! This volume, titled Tales From Spaceship Earth, includes stories from six of our scientists and is the first in an ongoing series of science-informed fiction. This collection of stories reflects an intersection of each author’s knowledge of science and vision of the future. These unique perspectives range from the near-term evolution of the space station program, to the beginnings of […]

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Podcast: Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays

Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for July features a conversation with Dr. Dimitra Atri titled “Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays“. The sun provides the primary energy source for life on Earth, and biologists have also speculated that geothermal heat near oceanic vents may have also provided energy for early forms of life. But could life survive on other forms of energy? Galactic cosmic rays are charged particles with origins from outside our solar system, and Dr. Atri suggests that these cosmic rays could […]

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Solar Events Unlikely to Cause Birth Defects

High-energy cosmic rays can pose threats to airline crews at high altitudes, but how much risk do they pose for everyday life on the surface? A new study by a team of scientists that includes Dr. Dimitra Atri finds that Earth’s atmosphere provides a shilding mechanism that protects us at the surface, further confounding the problem of birth defects but at least giving us a sense of safety from cosmic rays above. This research has been featured by Science Daily […]

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BlueSciCon Episode 40: Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays

Dr. Dimitra Atri Listen: [mp3 download] Questions to consider: What organisms on Earth can survive solely on non-solar sources of energy? What sources of high-energy radiation could provide habitable conditions to subsurface environments? Could galactic cosmic rays power life beneath thick sheets of ice or deep oceans? What regions in the Solar System are the most likely to have increased habitability from galactic cosmic rays? How would this additional habitability mechanism direct the remote search for life in the universe? […]

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Can Cosmic Rays Power Life?

A new hypothesis paper by Dr. Dimitra Atri suggests that galactic cosmic rays could provide a source for living organisms in subsurface environments. Dr. Atri suggests several mechanisms by which secondary particles induced by galactic cosmic rays could penetrate into deep subsurface environments and provide energy to biological systems. This suggests that planets with a strong geothermal heat flux, rogue planets, and other worlds previously thought to be uninhabitable could in fact support life in the absence of starlight. Dr. […]

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The Problems with Talking to Aliens

A recent article in the Kernel features Michael Busch, Dimitra Atri, and Jacob Haqq-Misra on the subject of sending messages into space. The Lone Signal project of 2013 was an attempt at sending a crowdfunded message toward the star Gliese 526, and the article discusses both the funding perils and security concerns over this and other attempts at broadcasting messages that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive. [read the article at the Kernel]

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Pubs: Galactic Rays and Habitability

A new paper led by Dr. Dimitra Atri explores the effect of galactic cosmic rays on planetary habitability. The paper is titled “Galactic cosmic ray induced radiation dose on terrestrial exoplanets” and is currently in press in the journal Astrobiology. In a new episode of our podcast series “Pubs with BMSIS”, join Brendan Mullen in a conversation with Dimitra about the importance of cosmic rays in both astrobiology and daily life. [listen to the conversation]

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