Thursday, October 19, 2006

Day and night temperatures of extrasolar planet, Earth microbes flourishing on Mars and first purpose-built spaceport

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 - NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has made the first measurements of the day and night temperatures of a planet outside our solar system. The infrared observatory revealed that the Jupiter-like gas giant planet circling very close to its sun is always as hot as fire on one side, and potentially as cold as ice on the other. See article.
g Life - A class of especially hardy microbes that live in some of the harshest Earthly environments could flourish on cold Mars and other chilly planets, according to a research team of astronomers and microbiologists. See
g Cosmicus - Work is underway to design and construct the first “purpose-built” spaceport to handle passenger and payload launches to the edge of space and into Earth orbit. See