Monday, August 01, 2005

Mars’ ice lake, space station harvest and ‘Mission of Gravity’

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 - Applied physicists at the California Institute of Technology have devised a plasma experiment that shows how huge long, thin jets of material shoot out from exotic astrophysical objects such as young stars, black holes and galactic nuclei. See article.
g Abodes - The European Space Agency’s Mars Express has snapped an image of a modest ice lake on the Red Planet. See article.
g Life - A new study in the August 2005 issue of The American Naturalist investigates a game-theoretical model in which females gain a direct benefit by multiple mating from the paternal care they elicit for their offspring. See article.
g Intelligence - Love and friendship may have genetic roots, according to a study in twins that suggests DNA has a strong influence who individuals marry and pal around with. See article.
g Message - Could intelligent beings in another solar system have hidden their sun by knocking their planets apart and using the pieces to build a hollow ball around their sun? For more on “Dyson Spheres,” see article.
g Cosmicus - A space station harvest relieves crew's minds and appetites. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity: “Gamma Ray Bursts”: Sing the “Gamma Ray Rap” in this set of lessons and activities about gamma ray bursts, one of the most puzzling mysteries of astrophysics today. See article.
g Imagining - Like stories about alien biologies and environments? Scour your used bookstore for Hal Clement’s “Mission of Gravity” (1953).
g Aftermath - Some of the best discussion of the consequences of alien contact occurs in science fiction. Here’s a novel that ranks among the most important in that dialogue: Arthur C. Clark’s “Songs of a Distant Earth.” Look for it at your library or local used book store.

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