Thursday, November 15, 2007

Astronomers discover star more similar than any other to our own, Titan’s lakes and how different gravities affect humans

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 have discovered a star more like our Sun than any other previously observed. The finding suggests that the Sun's chemical composition is not unique, as some previously thought, and could have implications in the search for habitable environments beyond our Solar System. See article.
g Abodes - Newly assembled radar images from the Cassini spacecraft provide the best view of the hydrocarbon lakes and seas on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, while a new radar image reveals that Titan's south polar region also has lakes. See article. For related story, see Take an umbrella if you plan to visit Titan!.
g Life - Quote of the Day: "There is grandeur in this view of life ... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." — Charles Darwin, closing sentence in “On the Origin of Species”
g Cosmicus - Despite years of spaceflight, we still don't know exactly how different levels of gravity influence human health. In this interview with Catharine Conley, she says that by spinning worms around really fast, we can learn more about our ability to live in space and on other worlds. See article.
g Learning - To be sure, researchers have long studied the origins of life on Earth and searched for signs of it on other planets. But until recently those enterprising scientists lurked at the fringes of their fields. No longer. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.

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