Friday, June 03, 2005

Stars shocked into birth, past water on Mars and Allen Array goes online

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 – The saga of how a few monstrous stars spawned a diverse community of additional stars is told in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The striking picture reveals an eclectic mix of embryonic stars living in the tattered neighborhood of one of the most famous massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy, Eta Carinae. The new stars are now thought to have been “shocked into birth.” See article.
g Abodes – Many Martian surface features – seen for the first time in new images taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera aboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft - suggest that erosion of large water flows had carved Ares Vallis in that planet’s landscape. See article. For related stories, see "Phoenix Mars mission begins launch preparations" and “Spirit, the problem child”.
g Life – Many scientists believe the best way to search for our origins is to begin with the basics – and stripped to its fundamentals, the universe doesn't get any more basic than hydrogen. See article. Note: This article is from 1999.
g Intelligence – A new study of Nobel Prize winners and great inventors suggests top innovators are older today than they were a century ago. See article.
g Message – The first telescope designed to search for alien life began operating last month from northern California. The state-of-the-art radio telescope, being operated by the SETI Institute, is still undergoing development and will be able to examine more stars in a year or two than Earth-bound scientists have been able to study in more than 45 years, the Washington Post reported. See article.
g Cosmicus – The University of Manchester will help develop a new generation of robots with “human” instincts. The REVERB project, which involves BAE Systems and a number of other leading UK Universities, is aimed at developing new technologies that will enable robots to respond to events and multi-task in similar ways to humans and animals. As part of the project The University of Manchester will develop a state of the art Vision Chip. See article.
g Learning – Do you have what it takes to keep a trio of astronauts healthy? Play Space Doctor and see if you can make it to Mars alive. See article.
g Imagining – Is there life on other planets? If so, does it look like the monstrous thing Sigourney Weaver battled in the “Alien” movie blockbusters? Could you kiss it the way Captain Kirk was so fond of doing on “Star Trek”? Or, could it be related to your houseplant? See article.

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