Sunday, December 02, 2007

Rocky planets in Pleiades, thawing million-year-old ice and new launch facility in Russian

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 - NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is helping piece together the evolution of galaxies. Since its launch in 2003, the mission has surveyed tens of thousands of galaxies in ultraviolet light across nine billion years of time. The results provide new, comprehensive evidence for the "nurture" theory of galaxy evolution, which holds that the galaxies first described by Hubble – the elegant spirals and blob-like ellipticals - are evolutionarily linked. See article.
g Abodes - Evidence for rocky planets has been found in one of humanity's most beloved star clusters. See article.
g Life - Researchers have thawed ice estimated to be at least a million years old from above Lake Vostok, an ancient lake that lies hidden more than two miles beneath the frozen surface of Antarctica. See article.
g Cosmicus - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree authorizing construction of a new launch facility on Russian territory to reduce the nation's dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. See article.
g Aftermath - Though an older Web posting, “After Contact, Then What?” shows how little we’ve thought about this question.

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