Friday, April 21, 2006

Open star clusters, undersea volcano and Mojave Spaceport

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 Hubble Space Telescope has captured the most detailed images to date of the open star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud - two sparkling sets of gemstones in the southern sky. See article.
g Abodes - An undersea volcano in the Pacific is growing from its summit and could breach the ocean surface within a few decades, a new study reveals. See article.
g Life - Scientists at the University of British Columbia believe the Hagfish's gruesome method of feeding may cause the stagnant water inside the carcass to become acidic from the build up of CO2 produced by the fish, which could explain why the fish is able to cope with environmental conditions of up to 7 percent CO2 — 350 times that found in normal air). See article.
g Intelligence - The most important factor in what kind of sweetener people prefer has little to do with how sweet it tastes. Rather, it has more to do with other tastes in the sweetener, such as bitterness or sourness, new research suggests. See article.
g Message - Here’s a neat National geographic interview of Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, about the search for extraterrestrial intelligences: article. Note: The interview is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - California lawmakers took steps this week to provide an outlay of funds for the inland Mojave Spaceport, an action also designed to keep the state aggressive in public space travel and space enterprise. See article.
g Learning - What are SETI scientists doing to foment the study and understanding of astrobiology in our schools? See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Arthur C Clarke’s short story, "Before Eden," published in June 1961’s Amazing.
g Aftermath - If, as “The X-Files'” Fox Mulder might say, "The truth is out there," then the researchers running the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program are likely to be the first ones to find it. On the other hand, there are numerous people who believe they've already been in contact with aliens. National Geographic's video ”Phantom Quest: The Search for Extraterrestrials” studies the claims of both groups, ultimately seeking to reveal precisely what an encounter with beings from another planet could mean for humanity. See article.

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