Monday, November 21, 2005

Transient binary stars, current answers to Fermi’s paradox and Falcon 1 launch

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 - ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory has discovered a new, highly populated class of X-ray fast "transient" binary stars, undetected in previous observations. "Transients" are systems that display periods of enhanced X-ray emission. See article.
g Abodes - One in four of the planetary systems identified to date outside the solar system are capable of harboring other Earth-like planets, say astrophysicists, a much higher proportion than anyone expected. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Life - Many insects go back and forth between their nests and a food source multiple times. But if the route to the food is very similar to the route away from it, then the foragers might get confused and not know which way to go. Different insects have different ways of dealing with this problem. Bees use the Sun as their compass. But ants use visual landmarks and let their stomachs guide their way, a new study finds. See article.
g Intelligence - One might assume that the more there is of a desired item the more favorable evaluation that item receives. For example, ice cream lovers would always be willing to pay more for more ice cream. An article in the latest issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science suggests that this is not always so. See article.
g Message - Here’s a Web page that summarizes some of the current answers to Fermi’s Paradox.
g Cosmicus - The private launch firm SpaceX will loft its Falcon 1 rocket on Nov. 25, marking the booster’s maiden flight and hopefully the first of many space shots to come, the company’s chief said Friday. See article.
g Learning - What are SETI scientists doing to foment the study and understanding of astrobiology in our schools? See article.
g Imagining - In a manner similar to the evolution of Jesus' features in art, or of the popular likeness of Santa Claus, the concept of what alien creatures look like has undergone change over time. See article.
g Aftermath - "If we are able to find one extraterrestrial civilization, we should be able to find many," according to the paper "Networking with our Galactic Neighbors." "By the year 3000 either we will have abandoned the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or we will have made progress networking with other civilizations in our galaxy. One alternative is that we will first detect a civilization that, like our own, has not yet confirmed the existence of other distant civilizations. This success will accelerate our search efforts and put us in touch, one by one, with many more extraterrestrial societies. Under this alternative we would be founding members of the Galactic Club, that is the largest network of communicating civilizations within our galaxy. Another alternative is that our initial contact will be with a civilization that is already affiliated with the Galactic Club, with the result that we ourselves are offered membership. Whether we help build the first network of civilizations or are inducted into a pre-existing network could have profound implications for Humanity 3000." See article. Note: This paper was released in 2000.

Read this blogger’s books

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: