Friday, February 09, 2007

Invisible stars, spotting worlds circling distant stars and ocean mapping

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 have found a new class of objects in space: a neutron star orbiting inside a cocoon of cold gas and/or dust that hides a bloated supergiant star. In a strange twist of fate, these objects may be tremendously luminous, but the enshrouding cocoon absorbs almost all their emission, making them nearly invisible to telescopes on Earth until now. See
g Abodes - There is ongoing theoretical debate regarding how and where to spot other worlds circling distant stars. And there are new ground and in-space observational tools that are locking into real-time data. See
g Life - Tagging some of the oceans most experienced natural seafarers has allowed scientists to amass a vast amount of oceanographic data. Now, this rich store of information is being used in ocean models that provide new insights into the inner workings of the ocean. See
g Intelligence - The tropical forests of South East Asia, important for local livelihoods and the last home of the orangutan are disappearing far faster than experts have previously supposed according to a new Rapid Response report from The UN Environment Programme. See
g Learning - Here’s a neat set of lesson plans deeply related to astrobiology: "The World of Bacteria." It’s for high school biology students. See
g Aftermath - Among scientists involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, it’s quite common to be focused on the future, ever mindful that it could take years, or even decades, to find a signal from otherworldly intelligence. But if historian Steve Dick has his way, astronomers will also turn their attention toward the past as they search for life beyond Earth — to discover the aftereffects of contact between two intelligent cultures. See
. Note: This article is from 2003.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

No comments: