Saturday, November 24, 2007

Calculating average number of habitable planets in our galaxy, how some dinosuars breathed and more powerful telescopes

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 Abodes - Heres a paper that presents a general modelling scheme for assessing the suitability for life on any Earth-like extrasolar planet. The paper’s approach is based on an integrated Earth system analysis in order to calculate the habitable zone in main-sequence-star planetary systems. A new attempt to estimate the formation rate of Earth-like planets over cosmological time scales is applied to calculate the average number of habitable planets in the Milky Way as a function of time. See article.
g Life - Velociraptors, tyrannosaurs and other related carnivorous dinosaurs breathed like some of today’s diving birds and consequently were probably speedy predators, a new study finds. See article.
g Cosmicus - Giant-sized telescopes such as Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra offer unprecedented views of the cosmos, but astronomers are eager to put more powerful tools into orbit around the Earth. See article.
g Learning - We learn better when the material meshes with what we already know, according to a new study of rats that researchers say could help explain human learning. See article.

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