Friday, September 08, 2006

Star cluster pinwheels, liquid water may lie beneath Ganymede's crust and New Horizons’ first photo

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 heart of one of the Milky Way galaxy's most massive star clusters harbors as many as five pinwheels, a strange and relatively newly discovered type of stellar object, astronomers say. See article.
g Abodes - Data from the Galileo space probe suggest that liquid water may lie beneath Ganymede's icy crust. See http://www.astrobio.
. Note: This article is from 2000.
g Life - Insect bite marks in ancient leaf fossils are shedding new light on how nature bounced back after an asteroid impact killed off the dinosaurs and much of life on Earth 65 million years ago. See
g Intelligence - A tiny island in the middle of nowhere is like a world in miniature, a new study finds. Rapa island lies isolated in the South Pacific, halfway between South America and New Zealand. Initially cooperative, its first settlers turned to violence when faced with the same pressures of environment and competition happening right now across the globe, the research suggests. See
g Cosmicus - NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has snapped its first high-resolution photo, an image of distant stars that shows the probe's high-resolution camera works. See http://
. For related story, see “Pluto: Down But Maybe Not Out” at http://www.
g Learning - Here’s a neat teacher info source, courtesy of PBS: “Life on other Worlds: Our Solar System and Beyond.” See http://
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Timothy Zahn’s novel “Conqueror's Pride,” published by Bantam Spectra in 1994.