Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rocky exoplanet discovered, Interstellar Messaging and micro spacecraft

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 have launched the most highly sensitive telescope of its kind to be carried by balloon. The balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope - or BLAST - will take a five- to nine-day journey along the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere. BLAST will collect images of objects in our solar system as well as the distant light that details the formation of stars and the evolution of whole galaxies. See article.
g Abodes – Taking a major step forward in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system, a team of astronomers has announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected. About seven-and-a-half times as massive as Earth, with about twice the radius, it may be the first rocky planet ever found orbiting a normal star not much different from our Sun. "This is the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected, and the first of a new class of rocky terrestrial planets," said team member Paul Butler. See article.
g Life - Determining friend or foe in the ant world is a touchy subject. New research reveals how carpenter ants screen nest-mates from non-mates with special chemical sensors on their antennae. See article.
g Intelligence – Most women are less forgiving of other women who lack comforting skills than of men who lack such skills, according to a new Purdue University research on interpersonal relationships. Researchers found just the opposite reaction for the few women who identify themselves as the most feminine. See article.
g Message – Here’s a neat Web site: “Interstellar Messaging.” You’ll find discussion, history and real-world examples of mankind's methods and ongoing attempts to communicate with extraterrestrials. See article.
g Cosmicus – A ballerina gracefully dances on a small stage. She is followed not by a male partner, but by a robotic arm manipulator that seems to sense her every move. For NASA Goddard technologist Vladimir Lumelsky, the performance shows the future of robotics. See article.
g Learning – Are you thinking of a career in SETI? Get the low-down at here. Note: This article is from 1998.
g Imagining – Could the legendary dragons of Pern from Anne McCaffrey’s famous science fiction novels actually exist? Welcome to the theoretical science of dracogenetics. See article.
g Aftermath – In a cross-cultural study conducted several years ago, to scientists looked at the attitudes of college students towards the possibility that extraterrestrial life might exist, and if it does, what it might be like for people to learn that it exists. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.

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