Thursday, June 29, 2006

Venus’ polar vortex, cradle of agriculture and faster than light travel

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Stars - The most true-to-life computer simulation ever made of our Sun's multimillion-degree outer atmosphere, the corona, successfully predicted its actual appearance during the March 29, 2006, solar eclipse, scientists have announced. See
g Abodes - ESA's Venus Express data undoubtedly confirm for the first time the presence of a huge '”double-eye” atmospheric vortex at the planet's south pole. This striking result comes from analysis of the data gathered by the spacecraft during the first orbit around the planet. See
g Life - Researchers scouring swamps in the heart of Borneo island have discovered a venomous species of snake that can change its skin color, the conservation group WWF announced Tuesday. See
g Intelligence - The southeastern Anatolian province of Þanlýurfa, considered to be the cradle of agriculture as well as hosting numerous examples of ancient architecture, promises new discoveries to shed light on the history of human evolution in the region. See
g Cosmicus - Within the framework of general relativity and without the introduction of wormholes, is it is possible to modify a space-time in a way that allows a spaceship to travel with an arbitrarily large speed, such as faster than light? One physicist thinks so. See
g Learning - Here’s a neat lesson plan, “Extraterrestrials,” in which students learn that a digital radio message has been electronically transmitted into space by the Arecibo radio dish in Puerto Rico and that the purpose of the message is to alert any intelligent life in space to the existence of intelligent life on Earth. See http://school.