Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Early Earth haze may have spurred life, says University of Colorado study

November 07, 2006
Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In a study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences the week of Nov. 6, the research team measured organic particles produced from the kind of atmospheric gases thought to be present on early Earth. The laboratory experiment modeled conditions measured by the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon, Titan, last year during the NASA-European Space Agency's Cassini mission, according to Margaret Tolbert of CU-Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, one of the study's authors.

The researchers mimicked Titan's hazy skies by exposing methane gas to an ultraviolet lamp, then added carbon dioxide gas to the mix to see if conditions that were probably present on early Earth would produce a similar organic haze. "It turns out that organic haze can form over a wide range of methane and carbon dioxide concentrations," said Tolbert. "This means that hazy conditions could have been present for many millions or even a billion years on Earth while life was evolving."

According to co-author Melissa Trainer of CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, the study was the first to measure the chemical properties of aerosols by irradiating methane and carbon dioxide with ultraviolet light. "We found that you can make a lot of organic material virtually out of thin air," said Trainer, who completed her doctoral degree in CU-Boulder's chemistry and biochemistry department at CU in May 2006 under Tolbert.

Scientists believe the atmospheric chemistry of Titan might hold valuable clues to understanding the climate on Earth when life was just forming, said Trainer. Titan is an unusual solar system moon in that it has an atmosphere - in this case one thick with organic aerosol particles that form through photochemical processes when sunlight reacts with methane gas, she said.

According to the study, a similar haze hanging over Earth early in its history could have supplied more than 100 million tons of organic material to the planet's surface each year. "As these particles settled out of the skies, they would have provided a global source of food for living organisms," said Trainer.

Previous efforts to understand early life on Earth have focused on extreme environments like hydrothermal vents, where energy and nutrients are plentiful, said Tolbert. The new study shows that such a high-energy food source could have been produced globally early in Earth's history, possibly expanding the habitable domain for early life, she said.

In addition to serving as a source of organic material, a haze layer over Earth could have shielded living organisms from harmful UV rays and helped to regulate Earth's early climate, according to the study. The haze may have contributed to the geologic record on Earth by depositing organic carbon into some of the planet's most ancient rocks, said Alexander Pavlov, a study co-author and former LASP researcher now at the University of Arizona. Organic carbon is believed by scientists to be of biological origin.

Other authors on the study included LASP's Owen Toon, H. Langley Dewitt and Jose Jimenez of CIRES, and Christopher McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

"It's exciting to see that the early Earth experiments produced so much organic matter," said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, headquartered at NASA Ames. "An organic haze produced this way on early Earth could have contributed to the formation and sustenance of life."

University of Colorado at Boulder


Related Haze Current Events and Haze News Articles


L.A. story: Cleaner air, healthier kids
A 20-year study finds that millennial children in Southern California breathe easier than ones who came of age in the '90s, for a reason as clear as the air in Los Angeles today.

VISTA stares right through the Milky Way
As one of its major surveys of the southern sky, the VISTA telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile is mapping the central regions of the Milky Way in infrared light to search for new and hidden objects.

The tell-tale signs of a galactic merger
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this striking view of spiral galaxy NGC 7714. This galaxy has drifted too close to another nearby galaxy and the dramatic interaction has twisted its spiral arms out of shape, dragged streams of material out into space, and triggered bright bursts of star formation.

To prevent new environmental disasters, China needs national conservation horizon scanning
Globe Conservation Horizon Scanning, which involves collaboration of the worldwide conservation community, focuses on identifying potential environmental problems across the planet that have not yet been noticed by society as a whole.

Unexpected turn in diabetes research
Years of diabetes research carried out on mice whose DNA had been altered with a human growth hormone gene is now ripe for reinterpretation after a new study by researchers at KU Leuven confirms that the gene had an unintended effect on the mice's insulin production, a key variable in diabetes research.

Patient's own stem cells could clear a cloudy cornea, Pitt team says
Treating the potentially blinding haze of a scar on the cornea might be as straightforward as growing stem cells from a tiny biopsy of the patient's undamaged eye and then placing them on the injury site, according to mouse model experiments conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Meteorology meets metrology: Climate research high up in the clouds
Barely has the research aircraft HALO entered the kilometre-high clouds towering above the Brazilian rainforest than the researchers find themselves in a complete haze, but they can rely on the measuring instruments that are working at full capacity.

Clean Smell Doesn't Always Mean Clean Air - Drexel Engineer Studies Indoor Aerosol Spikes Caused By Cleaning Products, Air Fresheners
Some of the same chemical reactions that occur in the atmosphere as a result of smog and ozone are actually taking place in your house while you are cleaning.

Yellow filters in eye result in higher visibility, UGA research finds
Human eyes naturally contain yellow pigment in the macula, a spot near the center of the retina responsible for high-resolution vision.

NASA Experiments Recreate Aromatic Flavors of Titan
NASA scientists have created a new recipe that captures key flavors of the brownish-orange atmosphere around Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
More Haze Current Events and Haze News Articles

Haze: The Rephaim, Book 2

Haze: The Rephaim, Book 2
by Paula Weston (Author)


Gaby Winters' life used to be pretty normal. She lived with her best friend. She worked in a library. She was slowly getting over the death of her twin brother, Jude. And then Rafa came looking for her.

     With him, her blood-soaked nightmares stopped. But now they are reality. She is one of the Rephaim - a wingless half angel, descended from the Fallen. Demons exist and they are hunting her.

     She knows she's alive when she's meant to be dead. And that means maybe Jude is too. So why isn't she out there looking for him?

Haze

Haze
by L. E. Modesitt (Author)


What lies beneath the fog of the millions of orbiting nanotech satellites that shroud the world called Haze?  Major Keir Roget’s mission is to make planetfall in secret, find out, and report back to his superiors in the Federation, the Chinese-dominated government that rules Earth and the colonized planets. 

Now, scouting Haze, he finds a culture both seemingly familiar, yet frighteningly alien, with hints of a technology far superior to that of the Federation.  Yet he is not quite certain how much of what he sees is real–or how to convey a danger he cannot even prove to his superiors, if he can escape the planet...

Haze

Haze


An Amazon Hot 100 New Release!

Freshly graduated from college and ready for a new start, Effie Jacobs leaves small town Michigan and heads to New York City to work in accounting for a major record label--the last thing she ever thought she'd be doing. She's left a world of drama behind her, eager to confront her new reality head on and make it on her own.

After getting over the initial shock of NYC and her new job, Effie's life starts to become more manageable, calmer, simpler. But all of that changes at once when HE steps into the picture, songwriter/performer/producer, Jack Teller.

He's enigmatic, gorgeous, and wealthy, the glowing product of so many years of hard work and limitless natural talent, a man so fantastic that he can have literally any woman...

Haze

Haze
by Kathy Hoopmann (Author)


Seb is a loner. Brilliant with numbers but hopeless with people, he prefers the company of computers and his only friend, Guzzle. Things change for the better when he makes friends with Kristie, Madeline and Jen, and a new computer teacher - Miss Adonia - arrives. However, Seb is soon caught up in a web of computer fraud and lies and turns to Madeline's mysterious cyber friend for help. Weaving the facts of Asperger Syndrome into the story, this fast-paced book is acclaimed author Kathy Hoopmann's best novel yet and will be a rivetting read for teenagers of all sorts and abilities.

The Errol Flynn Adventures

The Errol Flynn Adventures
by Alima Press


A Novel

Actor. Lover. Legend…
Errol Flynn’s life was more adventurous than any movie role.

With his smashing good looks Errol Flynn was the guy every man wanted to be and every woman wanted. From his adventures as a young man exploring the Mediterranean and the Far East to revolutionizing the stage in London's West End before being discovered by an agent from Warner Brothers shipped out to Hollywood he had already lived a hundred lives worth of sex and adventure.
After becoming the biggest star in the world Errol falls in with his co-star of eight pictures Olivia de Havilland but is unable to figure out how to win her heart. This failure proved a universal theme; the maxim that everyone has the one that got away. Errol was deeply troubled that he...

RED HAZE: The Lure of the Pack (The Red Haze Chronicles Book 2)

RED HAZE: The Lure of the Pack (The Red Haze Chronicles Book 2)


RED HAZE: THE LURE OF THE PACK
BOOK 2 OF THE RED HAZE CHRONICLES

He is part man, part wolf.
He is terrorism’s worst enemy.
His NATO codename is Red Haze and he is about to do battle with the greatest threat to European peace and stability, since the Second World War.

Dateline: 19 March 2003 22.00 Hours
The South Rumaila Oilfields, Southern Iraq

A Special Air Service Recon Team parachute behind enemy lines at the beginning of Operation Telic, the British controlled section of the second allied invasion of Iraq.
Among the four-man team is Trooper Ashley ‘Ash’ Piper.
After an initial attack on an Iraqi armoured column, Piper and his team are ambushed by Iraqi troops. Bloody mayhem and chaos ensue, with Piper suddenly,...

WWE Superstars #2: Haze of Glory

WWE Superstars #2: Haze of Glory
by Mick Foley (Author), Puste (Author)


The 2nd in a graphic novel series featuring WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley's stories of real-life wrestling matches. Ages 13 and up.

All Our Lives (Luna Book 3)

All Our Lives (Luna Book 3)
by Stoked Publishing House


A mysterious past…

An unpredictable future…

A last chance to make everything right…

Note: This is the third and final book in an erotic romance serial of three. Please read "For The Night (Luna, #1)" FREE and "What He Desires (Luna, #2)" first. Length: 142 print pages.

*Now with a preview of "Loving My Angel: Part One" by Violet Haze!

Aliens in Ancient Egypt: The Brotherhood of the Serpent and the Secrets of the Nile Civilization

Aliens in Ancient Egypt: The Brotherhood of the Serpent and the Secrets of the Nile Civilization
by Xaviant Haze (Author)


The alien influences behind the rise and fall of Egypt’s Golden Age

• Explains how Akhenaten was the last pharaoh entrusted with the sacred and ancient alien knowledge of stargates, free energy, and antigravity technologies

• Reveals how the Brotherhood of the Snake, a secret society of reptilian aliens, sought to destroy Akhenaten and suppress the sacred knowledge of the pharaohs

• Explores the original purpose of the pyramids--to transmit energy to expand consciousness--and how they were decommissioned after the Great Flood

The sophisticated civilization of ancient Egypt arose seemingly overnight, complete with advanced levels of art, agriculture, astronomy, and physics. Then, with the death of Pharaoh Akhenaten, much of this higher knowledge...

Elvis is Alive: The Complete Conspiracy

Elvis is Alive: The Complete Conspiracy
by Xaviant Haze (Author)


Oh Elvis, where art thou? Living on the Moon? Witness Protection? Kalamazoo? For more than 35 years Elvis lovers have been asking themselves this question, desperately wanting to believe their musical hero is still alive. Seeking to finally put the matter to rest, Xaviant Haze blows the Elvis conspiracies vault wide open with the first book dedicated solely to the mysteries surrounding the King of Rock n’ Roll. While giving an accurate and concise history of the King's life, he also illustrates how Elvis's talent was seized and controlled by the darker forces within the entertainment industry. The rise of an artist to celebrity status, his work while a mind control victim and his (or her) ultimate self-destruction has become an all-too-familiar story in pop culture, so frequently seen...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com