Saturday, June 16, 2007

Arguments for life around M dwarfs, evidence favoring of Martian oceans and first accommodations in 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 - M-dwarf stars, much smaller, dimmer and cooler than stars like our sun, are by far the most common type of star in our galaxy. Yet scientists searching for life on other worlds have not shown much interest in M dwarfs. That's about to change. See article.
g Abodes - New research has now countered one of the key arguments against the past presence of large oceans on Mars. The new findings are another step forward in determining whether or not Mars once supported liquid water, a key component for environments habitable for life. See
g Life - Researchers have tested the survival of methanogenic microorganisms in different soil types that resemble those found on Mars in order to test the possibility of these soils harboring life. See
g Intelligence -Quote of the Day: "There may be a million worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy alone which are at this moment inhabited by other intelligent beings." — Carl Sagan (Cosmos, episode XI).
g Cosmicus - The first accommodation in orbit available to the public won't be a real "hotel" - it's more likely just to be rooms in pre-fabricated cylindrical modules connected together, because this is the easiest way to start. However, it will gradually grow in quantity and quality to include more elaborate facilities constructed in orbit - eventually including full-scale hotels and even apartment blocks. Starting at thousands of dollars per night, costs will fall continually as the volume grows, and it's likely that guests will choose to stay for longer and longer. See

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