Sunday, March 06, 2005

New class of astronomical objects, chondrules and Fred Flintstone’s Atkins Diet

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars –Astronomers at Sweet Briar College and the Naval Research Laboratory have detected a powerful new bursting radio source whose unique properties suggest the discovery of a new class of astronomical objects. The researchers have monitored the center of the Milky Way Galaxy for several years and reveal their findings in the journal Nature. See article.
g Abodes –The process that formed the giant planet Jupiter may also have spawned some of the tiniest and oldest members of our solar system — millimeter-sized spheres called chondrules, the major part of the most primitive meteorites. As witnesses to the early history of the solar system, chondrules may provide important clues to how the planets formed. See article.
g Life –How does the Drake Equation fare across our solar system? An analysis shows that one of the main thrusts of solar system should be focused on the biomarkers of the eukaryotic stage of development for life. See article.
g Intelligence –Early humans living alongside great apes million years ago may have gained a competitive evolutionary advantage by embracing a primitive version of the Atkins Diet, according to new research. See article.
g Message –Would anyone deliberately beam high-powered signals into space? Can we assume that extraterrestrial societies would broadcast in ways that would mark their location as plainly as a flag on a golf green? See article.
g Cosmicus –The shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station Friday in a dramatic mission simulation that included presumed foam debris impacts to the orbiter's right wing leading edge and an aft rocket pod during the make-believe climb to space. See article.
g Learning –The Griffith Observatory recently established “Star Awards” to recognize excellence in Web sites that promote public awareness of astronomy. These are the best astronomy sites on the World Wide Web, and they present useful, thorough, and accurate information in a well-organized and attractive way, making the sky more accessible. See winners with links to their sites.
g Imagining –Here’s an interesting Web site: FAQ about Star Trek aliens. Though light on evolutionary origin, it’s questions (and answers) often point toward the need for writers to consider that issue.
g Aftermath –Even if the public seems less than awestruck by the prospect that alien life is a bunch of microscopic bugs, astrobiologists say unequivocal discovery of microbial life beyond Earth will change human society in profound ways, some unfathomable today. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.

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