Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sun’s celestial siblings, 16 new extrasolar planet candidates and future of human expansion into space

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 - Astronomers at the University of Illinois say that rather than being an only child, the sun could have hundreds or thousands of celestial siblings that are now dispersed across the heavens. The researchers conclusions could reshape current theories on how, when and where planets form around stars. See article.
g Abodes - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy. Five of the newly found planets represent a new extreme type of planet not found in any nearby searches. See
g Cosmicus - Book alert: What future possibilities for space travel are the most likely to succeed? What are the greatest challenges and advantages of space travel for humankind? What are the potential moral and ethical implications of our space explorations? “Space, the Final Frontier?” imaginatively illustrates the possibilities that the exploration and subsequent exploitation of space opens up for humankind. Authors Giancarlo Genta and Michael Rycroft delve into the factors that encourage space travel and speculate on the future of human expansion into space. See