Thursday, December 20, 2007

Newly discovered exoplanets and life on chlorine worlds

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
g Abodes - In Astrobiology Magazine’s latest podcast, Pascale Ehrenfreund talks about newly discovered exoplanets, and explains what we still need to learn about the evolution of solar systems. See article.
g Cosmicus - The resurgence in scientific interest in the potential for life on Mars began in the 1990s. It was recognized at that time that the types of extreme environments on Earth capable of supporting organisms, such as geothermal systems, hot springs, subfreezing environments, and the deep subsurface, likely existed on Mars and had the potential to support life there. The possibility of Martian life gained visibility with both the science community and the public with the hypothesis of McKay et al. that evidence for past life could be found in the Martian meteorite ALH 84001. Although that hypothesis has now been widely criticized, the ensuing discussion brought out the scientific value of incorporating astrobiology science goals into a broad exploration strategy for Mars. See article.
g Learning - In a unique collaboration between NASA and the Navajo Nation, the NASA Astrobiology Institute has received funding to continue its work to bring together astrobiology science and Navajo cultural knowledge into educational materials for Navajo youth for the next three years. See article.
g Imagining - Could life exist on “chlorine worlds”? Here’s a science fiction examination of its possibility. See article.

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