Sunday, February 05, 2006

Smallest ever exoplanet found, global census of Marine Life discoveries and advanced plasma rocket system

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 flotilla of space-weather satellites – ESA’s Cluster and NASA’s ACE and Wind - observed for the first time steady large-scale jets of charged particles in the solar wind between the Sun and Earth. See article.
g Abodes - Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system. See article.
g Life - Discoveries and news in 2005 from the global Census of Marine Life include: Major expansions of projects tracking animals in the Pacific, dubbed "fish with chips"; Tiny carnivorous sponges among new species in Southern Ocean abyss; Eerie dead zone at 2004 tsunami epicenter; Life recorded at first seafloor vents found south of Equator in Atlantic; and Giant marine life inventory growing to 8.4 million records, covering 40,000-plus species. See article. For related stories, see: “Conflicting Claims on Global Warming and Why It's All Moot”; “Irrigation Fuels Warmer Temps in California's Central Valley”; and “Pesticide Combinations Imperil Frogs, Probably Contribute To Amphibian Decline”.
g Intelligence - Researchers Harmit Malik and Michael Emerman and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that a surprisingly large fraction of humans may be impaired in the function of a recently discovered arm of the body's defense against invading retroviruses such as HIV. See article.
g Message - A technique used to discover the small rocky world that was announced last week also could be used to detect a transmitter with the power of your local TV station at a distance of a hundred light-years, even if the alien broadcasters weren’t beaming our way. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA has signed an agreement with Houston-based Ad Astra Rocket Co. that paves the way for commercialization of a promising advanced plasma rocket system that has evolved over the past 25 years. See article.
g Learning - The research scientists aren’t the only ones getting excited about astrobiology. This new discipline has tremendous potential for revolutionizing science education. It is rich with exciting content to engage those who generally don’t consider themselves scientifically oriented, and also for opening the ears and minds of adults who may want a new reason to visit their local science center. See article. Note: This article is from 2000.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Carol Car and Karen Haber’s short story "First Contact, Sort of" appearing in the anthology “The Ultimate Alien” (edited by Keith R. A. DeCandido, John Betancourt and Byron Preiss; published by Dell in 1995).
g Aftermath - Would dutiful American citizens trust the government to handle first contact with extraterrestrials and rush to get information to the public? See article. Note: This article is from 1999.

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