Friday, September 09, 2005

M drawfs, first chimp fossil and a symposium on alien creation

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 - When you look up at the night sky, none of the stars you see are M dwarfs. These diminutive stars, much smaller and dimmer than our own sun aren't bright enough to see with the naked eye. Yet M dwarfs (also known as red dwarfs) are by far the most common stars around, comprising some 70 percent of all the stars in our galaxy. See article.
g Abodes - Dust from asteroids entering the atmosphere may influence Earth's weather more than previously believed, researchers have found. See article.
g Life - The human Y chromosome — the DNA chunk that makes a man a man — has lost so many genes over evolutionary time that some scientists have suspected it might disappear in 10 million years. But a new study says it'll stick around. See article.
g Intelligence - The first ever chimpanzee fossils were recently discovered in an area previously thought to be unsuitable for chimps. Fossils from human ancestor were also found nearby. See article.
g Message - Who is SETI scientist Seth Shostak? See article.
g Cosmicus - The temptation to slip from hurrying the future to hustling it is always present. You can see the latest variation at every space conference, on every space forum and weblog. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity courtesy of NASA: “The Rare Earth.” How special are the circumstances that have allowed complex life, like animals and plants, to develop on Earth? In this activity, students systematically investigate the time frame for complex life to develop on Earth. See lesson.
g Imagining - Like stories about alien biologies/environments? Be sure to scour your favorite used bookstores for Harlan Ellison’s (ed.) “Medea: Harlan's World” (1985), a symposium on alien creation.
g Aftermath - The next big discovery in science will be the proof that alien life exists — and it could come any day now. See article.

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