Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fastest spinning star, Galileo Mission and how to become an astrobiologist

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 using the European Space Agency's gamma-ray observatory, Integral, have detected what appears to be the fastest spinning neutron star yet. This tiny stellar corpse is spinning 1122 times every second. If confirmed, the discovery gives the chance to glimpse the insides of the dead star. See
g Abodes - Yogi Berra supposedly suggested that when you come to a fork in the road, you are supposed to take it. That's just what planetary scientists studying the rich data set from the Galileo Mission to the outer solar system are doing now. They're taking the fork. See
g Intelligence - While a person's accidental death reported on the evening news can bring viewers to tears, mass killings reported as statistics fail to tickle human emotions, a new study finds. See
g Learning - What is an astrobiologist, and can you become one? See