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UCF prof is developing life-on-Mars detector

UCF prof is developing life-on-Mars detector

From the high desert of southern Arizona on Sunday morning, University of Central Florida physics professor Robert Peale will launch a device that could one day help find evidence of life on Mars or other parts of the solar system. Peale and his colleagues will release a high-altitude balloon carrying an instrument they invented that uses a laser to detect infinitesimal amounts of specific kinds of gases. If one day Peale and his team can get the device sent to Mars, or Jovian moon such Europa, it could be capable of detecting traces of methane or other organic compounds in the thinnest of atmospheres. And where there are such compounds, there probably was life. NASA is watching...

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