Recently in the Meteorites, Asteroids, & Comets Category

The finding of a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology.

A spectral survey in the 1 mm wavelength range was undertaken in the long-period comets C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the 30 m telescope of the Institut de radioastronomie millimetrique (IRAM) in April and November-December 2013.

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks.

A team of scientists at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has found evidence of past water movement throughout a Martian meteorite, reviving debate in the scientific community over life on Mars.

The class of meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites are examples of material from the solar system which have been relatively unchanged from the time of their initial formation.

While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life.

The water found on the moon, like that on Earth, came from small meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites in the first 100 million years or so after the solar system formed, researchers from Brown and Case Western Reserve universities and Carnegie Institution of Washington have found.

In an effort to determine if conditions were ever right on Mars to sustain life, a team of scientists, including a Michigan State University professor, has examined a meteorite that formed on the red planet more than a billion years ago. And although this team's work is not specifically solving the mystery, it is laying the groundwork for future researchers to answer this age-old question.

The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), anticipates an opening for a civil service research scientist in the Astromaterials Research Office. The incumbent will be expected to conduct fundamental research in the general area of organic geochemistry of astromaterials. United States citizenship and a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in chemistry, physics, geology, geochemistry, planetary sciences, or a related field are required. The position requires an advanced knowledge of principles, practices, and applications of organic geochemistry in planetary and space sciences. The position will be filled at the GS-13 level. For a table of civil servant salaries in the greater Houston area, see

The selectee will be expected to establish a strong research program and to attract funds from any of the range of NASA Research & Analysis programs. This research program should complement or build upon existing ARES strengths, which include studies of primitive materials, meteorites, comets, and asteroids; Mars exploration and science research; experimental studies; and astrobiology. ARES is well-equipped with state of the art analytical and experimental laboratories (see for a complete list). Participation in NASA-sponsored space science missions is strongly encouraged (e.g. instrument team member/PI/co-I, participating scientist, etc.). Finally, the selectee will provide advice and support to the ARES Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office for issues relating to organic geochemistry, such as organic contamination control, planetary protection, and procedures for appropriate curation of astromaterials that may contain organic species, on an as-needed basis up to approximately one-fifth time.

It is anticipated that the official position announcement will appear on or about 1 September 2012. All applications must be made through the website. The formal announcement will contain details on the application process, including dates the position will be open for application. Starting date is subject to negotiation. Please address inquiries to Dr. David Draper (Manager, Astromaterials Research Office, David Draper), who will also provide, upon request, a detailed outline (authored by JSC's Human Resources office) for navigating the website and compiling a responsive application. [Source: NAI]