Saturday, July 23, 2005

Warm dust, violet sky and ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast

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 - A relatively young star located about 300 light-years away is greatly improving our understanding of the formation of Earth-like planets. The dustiest environment ever seen so close to a Sun-like star well after its formation shrouds the star. The warm dust is believed to be from recent collisions of rocky bodies at distances from the star comparable to that of the Earth from the Sun. See article.
g Abodes - The sky is blue, physicists tell us, because blue light in the Sun's rays bends more than red light. But this extra bending, or scattering, applies just as much to violet light, so it is reasonable to ask why the sky isn't purple. The answer, explained fully for the first time in a new scientific paper, is in the eye of the beholder. See article.
g Life - What could the fierce dinosaur T. rex and a modern songbird such as the sparrow possibly have in common? Their pulmonary systems may have been more similar than scientists previously thought, according to new research from Ohio University and Harvard University. See article.
g Intelligence - Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered a novel way in which the brain size of developing mammals may be regulated. They have identified a signaling pathway that controls the orientation in which dividing neural progenitor cells are cleaved during development. The researchers speculate that this type of regulatory decision point may play a powerful role in determining the ultimate size of the mammalian brain. See article.
g Message - In 2001, a group of Russian teens from Moscow, Kaluga, Voronezh and Zheleznogorsk participated directly and via the Internet in composing a Teen-Age Message to extraterrestrial intelligence, and in the selection of target stars. Their message was transmitted in the autumn of that year, from the Evpatoria Deep Space Center. See article.
g Cosmicus - To inspire the American people about the Vision for Space Exploration, and to focus the agency on its central mission, NASA should immediately establish a Moon and Mars Astronaut Corps. This elite cadre, set up within the existing astronaut body, would bring together the heroes who will lead the great journey ahead. See article.
g Learning - Sign up for classes at the SETI Institute with instructor Seth Shostak! See article.
g Imagining - England's Astronomer Royal says he believes aliens could exist, possibly as balloon-like creatures floating in dense atmospheres. See article.
g Aftermath - Want to hear the famous 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds,” which caused widespread panic as listeners believed Martians actually were invading Earth? See recording.

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