Saturday, October 21, 2006

Composition of extrasolar gas giants, evolutionary advantage of being last in line and space tourist etiquette

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 Abodes - In the past few years many giant planets have also be discovered around other stars. Those that transit, by chance, between us and their star can be directly characterized: we can measure both their mass and size, which allows us to infer, with the help of models, their compositions. See article.
g Life - The early bird might get the worm, but the last in line makes the baby. From bonobo chimpanzees to fruit flies, many female animals mate with multiple partners that often queue up for the event. Studies have shown that the last male to mate with a female is the most successful at impregnating her. See
g Cosmicus - According to several veteran shuttle astronauts, future space tourists should carefully plan their out-of-this-world experience. Plot out your favorite free-fall activities, carefully select your camera gear — but don’t hog the window. See