Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Andromeda Galaxy’s collision, what planets are made of and lunar ice

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 Andromeda galaxy, the closest large spiral to the Milky Way, appears calm and tranquil as it wheels through space. But appearances can be deceiving. Astronomers have new evidence that Andromeda was involved in a violent head-on collision with the neighboring dwarf galaxy Messier 32 (M32) more than 200 million years ago. See article.
g Abodes - Could all of the asteroids, comets and planets in our Milky Way galaxy be made of a similar mix of dusty components? See
g Cosmicus - Alas, the moon is not for winter sports. Never mind the difficulty of a triple axel in a bulky spacesuit (though the diminished gravity might help) - ice, it turns out, is hard to come by up there. See