Thursday, April 13, 2006

Supernova bubbles, missing fish link and space shuttle’s silver anniversary

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 - When stars explode as supernova, they carve giant bubbles in space. Our own solar system is enveloped by such a structure from a long-ago explosion. See article.
g Abodes - Like most living things, microscopic marine plants need iron and other minerals to live and grow. On land, soil provides a ubiquitous source of minerals, but how do essential nutrients get into vast watery stretches of the open ocean? See article.
g Life - A newfound beast with swim fins and a head like a crocodile fills an evolutionary gap between fish and four-legged land animals. See article.
g Intelligence - A research team that included members from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Minnesota Medical School has for the first time identified a substance in the brain that is proven to cause memory loss. This identification gives drug developers a target for creating drugs to treat memory loss in patients with dementia. See article.
g Message - Since the Department of Defense launched the first Global Positioning System satellite in 1978, GPS technology has matured into a highly valued, national resource used for a virtually limitless variety of applications involving location, navigation, tracking, mapping and timing. Despite the amazing variety of uses of the technology, there is one application that the creators of GPS surely never could have imagined: seeking to detect the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Cosmicus - Two astronauts, one space plane and NASA’s shuttle era began this week in 1981 as the Columbia orbiter launched into the morning skies above Cape Canaveral, Fla. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat Web site to help students learn about constellations: “Sky Maps.” The site helps students find out which constellations are visible in the night sky during the year as the Earth revolves around our sun. The maps are set for 9 p.m. in the Northern Hemisphere around mid-month. January and July maps are larger so you can compare winter and summer skies. See article.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read H.G. Wells’ short story "In the Abyss," published in the August 1896 issue of Pearson's Magazine.
g Aftermath - Scientists and governments are vigorously searching for signs of life in the universe. Will their efforts meet with success? Award-winning author Paul Davies, an eminent scientist who writes like a science fiction novelist, explores the ramifications of that success in his fascinating book, “Are We Alone? Philosophical Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life.” "The discovery of a single extraterrestrial microbe," he writes, "would drastically alter our world view and change our society as profoundly as the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It could truly be described as the greatest scientific discovery of all time." Though a decade old, the book still is a great read. See reviews.

Read this blogger’s books

No comments: