Sunday, June 10, 2007

Possible habitable planet around Gliese 581c, water evaporation rates under Mars-like conditions and space tourism in science fiction stories

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 studying light from the planetary system Gliese 581 have found that the host star is remarkably stable for billions of years. This means that the environment of its small, Earth-like planet, Gliese 581c, might be hospitable for life as we know it. See
g Abodes - A team of researchers from the University of Arkansas has measured water evaporation rates under Mars-like conditions, and their findings favor the presence of surface water on the planet. Water on the planet's surface makes the existence of past or present life on Mars a little more likely. See
g Life - Quote of the Day: “The Earth swarms with inhabitants. Why then should nature, which is fruitful to an excess here, be so very barren in the rest of the planets?” – Bernard de Fotenelle
g Cosmicus - The idea of tourism in space is the central story line in a number of well-known and not-so-well-known science fiction stories. It also plays a significant part in a number of other stories, and gets some sort of mention in even more. See