Friday, November 03, 2006

Cosmic dust, first spacecraft devoted to search for rocky planets and new generation of galactic explorers

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 dust that condensed to form the sun, the Earth and the stuff of human bodies has long been thought to have originated in violent explosions of giant stars. But these explosions - called supernovae - can't account for all the dust in the cosmos. See
g Abodes - The COROT space telescope is proceeding smoothly towards its launch in December 2006. Once in orbit, COROT will become the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth. See article.
g Life - Fish exposed to dangerous radiation send out chemical signals to alert their pals so they can then turn up their defenses, scientists in Canada report. See
g Cosmicus - A visionary zeal to seek new worlds and new civilizations is a factual enterprise for a new generation of galactic explorers. They are taking on spacetime and hoping to boldly go where no spacecraft has gone before — out to far-flung stars and the planets that circle them. There is no doubt there are worlds out there beyond our own cabal of planets, but even if you've got the heaviest of foot on the accelerator, plotting a speedy route to the stars is not easy. See