Thursday, June 07, 2007

Moderate climates on red dwarf worlds, what might surprise Venusian explorers and carbon-based life

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 - Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible. See
. Note: This article is from 1998.
g Abodes - Earth's twin, Venus, offers life as we know it few safe places on its faint red-glowing surface, which is hot enough to melt lead. But higher in the clouds, small amounts of water and strange ultraviolet absorbers make for a balmy 107 F abode. The principal investigator for NASA's Planetary Atmospheres and Venus Data Analysis Program speculates about what might surprise Venusian explorers. See
g Life - It’s a question as common as brown dogs: Will alien life be carbon-based? See Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus - Shortly after the loss of shuttle Columbia, Florida Today dispatched its space reporters on a mission not only to cover the accident, but also to examine the future of human spaceflight. Their research demonstrates that grander space goals are achievable at a price that does not require taking resources from other important national and world concerns. In a bold and forward-thinking move, the newspaper proposed a 50-year plan for the human exploration of the solar system. See
g Learning -Quote of the Day: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — William Shakespeare (“Hamlet”)