Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sun’s affect of asteroid rotation, looking rather than listening for ET and microgravity science laboratory

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 - For the first time, astronomers have witnessed how the Sun can affect the rotation of asteroids. Heating from the Sun, and the subsequent energy release from asteroids, can ultimately change their orbits and affect their potential for crossing the orbit of Earth. See
g Abodes - Scientists using NASA satellites have discovered an extensive network of waterways beneath a fast-moving Antarctic ice stream that provide clues as to how "leaks" in the system impact sea level and the world's largest ice sheet. Antarctica holds about 90 percent of the world's ice and 70 percent of the world's reservoir of fresh water. See
g Life - Smithsonian scientists have discovered a biodiversity bounty in the Eastern Pacific ­­— approximately 50 percent of the organisms found in some groups are new to science. The research team spent 11 days in the Eastern Pacific, a unique, understudied region off the coast of Panama. See
g Intelligence - Today’s time switch could shake up your biological clock, rattle your mood and give your bones and teeth an extra dose of vitamin D. See
g Message - Should we be looking for extraterrestrial civilizations, rather than just listening for them, as we do in the SETI project? That is the suggestion of a French astronomer, Luc Arnold, in his paper “Transit Lightcurve Signatures of Artificial Objects.” He believes that the transit of large artificial objects in front of a sun could be a used for the emission of attention-getting signals. See
g Cosmicus - Over 60 scientists and technicians have taken up temporary residence in ESA's brand new microgravity science laboratory, where, for the coming days, they will rehearse procedures to prepare experiments for the Foton M3 mission later this year. See
g Learning - What textbooks are college students reading in “Astrobiology 101” courses around the nation? See