Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Asteroid explorer lands, birds and dinosaurs, play Space Doctor

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 most detailed measurements to date of the dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought. See article.
g Abodes - With a maneuver that scientists compared to landing a jumbo jet in a moving Grand Canyon, Japan's asteroid explorer, Hayabusa, touched down on the surface of the asteroid Itokawa Saturday for the second time in a week and this time it successfully collected a sample of the surface soils, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced several hours after its bird had flown. See article.
g Life - The fossil skeleton of the Archaeopteryx shows it had features common to birds and a group of meat-eating dinosaurs. See article.
g Intelligence - University of Alberta researchers say that using magnetic resonance imaging they found a man's brain works differently than a woman's brain. See article.
g Message - SETI researchers have long had to beg time on instruments built for conventional radio astronomy. Now they're building one of their own. See article.
g Cosmicus - A Brazilian suborbital rocket successfully launched a European microgravity experiment Thursday in a debut flight staged from northern Sweden. 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 - Here’s a neat site that examines aliens in science fiction films. While short on studying the evolution of those aliens, it does discuss how these villainous creatures are a manifestation of our own fears, a nice take on the anthropomorphic bias most people possess regarding alien life.
g Aftermath - How to predict reactions to receipt of evidence for an otherworldly intelligence? Some scientists argue that any unpredictable outcomes can only be judged against our own history. See article.

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