Monday, November 26, 2007

Cosmic vacuum cleaner, extremophiles using steam to migrate 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 - The planet Jupiter is thought to act as a “cosmic vacuum cleaner,” sucking up comets and asteroids that could potentially hit the Earth and endanger all life on our planet. But new research has more closely examined Jupiter's ability to protect the inner solar system, and there are some surprising findings. See article.
g Life - A new study in the hot pools of Yellowstone shows that microbial viruses may be traveling from pool to pool along with steam. The research on these extreme habitats for unique life may shed light on how microbes, and the viruses that infect them, impact their environment. 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.

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