Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sound-driven supernovae, taking exoplanet’s temperature and almost to Mars

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 - Scientists have made the astonishing discovery that sound might drive supernovae explosions. Their computer simulations say that dying stars pulse at audible frequencies - for instance, at about the F-note above middle C - for a split second before they blow up. See article.
g Abodes - A NASA-led team of astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect a strong flow of heat radiation from a toasty planet orbiting a nearby star. The findings allowed the team to "take the temperature" of the planet. See article.
gLife - When sexual species reproduce asexually, they accumulate bad mutations at an increased rate, report two Indiana University Bloomington evolutionary biologists. See article.
g Intelligence - Picture this: Your boss is threatening to fire you because he thinks you stole company property. He doesn't believe your denials. Your lawyer suggests you deny it one more time—in a brain scanner that will show you're telling the truth. Wacky? Science fiction? It might happen this summer. See article.
g Message - Here’s a neat radio interview on the program “Earth and Sky,” about scientists looking for evidence of intelligent life beyond Earth. See article. Note: The interview is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - As it nears Mars on March 10, a NASA spacecraft designed to examine the red planet in unprecedented detail from low orbit will point its main thrusters forward, then fire them to slow itself enough for Mars' gravity to grab it into orbit. See article.
g Learning - A new study in the journal Developmental Psychology indicates that how girls and boys approach their schooling underlies the differences in math grades. It also suggests that although the girls' approach to school may give them an edge in the grades they earn in math, it may not buy them much when it comes to math scores on achievement tests because girls are not more confident than the boys about their skills in math. See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read H.B. Fyfe’s short story "In Value Deceived," originally published in the November 1950 issue of Astounding magazine.
g Aftermath - What would the influence of an alien visit would be on the world’s religions? Here’s an answer from members of the International Society for Philosophers.

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