Saturday, December 10, 2005

Continent-sized storms, California Space Authority and paper models of interplanetary probes

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 team of astronomers has taken an important step toward mapping the Milky Way by accurately measuring the distance to the star-forming region W3OH in the Perseus spiral arm, the nearest arm to us. This long strand of stars streaks out of the Milky Way’s disk in the same manner as others seen in galaxies across the universe. See article.
g Abodes - As the smallest of the gas giants, Uranus was thought from the Voyager probe flyby to have a relatively inactive surface. Stunning images reveal storms the size of entire terrestrial continents and a faint ring. See article.
g Life - In photographs, it looks like a big red spaceship cruising the ocean depths. But it's actually a new species of jelly that was discovered and described by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. MBARI scientists published their research on this unusual animal in a recent online version of the journal Marine Biology. See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Intelligence - A gene thought to influence perception and susceptibility to drug dependence is expressed more readily in human beings than in other primates, and this difference coincides with the evolution of our species, say scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and three other academic institutions. Their report appears in the December issue of Public Library of Science Biology. See article.
g Message - While advanced civilizations might be tempted to use optical means such as lasers to send information between the stars, there are some good reasons that nearly all the major Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence experiments are looking for radio waves instead. See article.
g Cosmicus - In a precursor to what National Space Society members can expect to see in 2006, the California Space Authority and the California Space Education and Workforce Institute hosted their first annual space conference at the Los Angeles Airport Sheraton Gateway Hotel this month. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat NASA site where kids can print paper models of interplanetary probes that they can cut out and construct.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama” (1973) in which a huge ship bypasses Earth. See reviews.
g Aftermath - Book alert: Just in time for the holidays, prolific author Peter Ward offers a series of speculations in "Life As We Do Not Know It ..." The book contains a wealth of information and dazzling speculation drawn from the ranks of Ward's colleagues in the 16 research institutions that operate worldwide as NASA's Astrobiology Institute. See article.

Read this blogger’s books

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: