Monday, December 31, 2007

What remembering alien abductions probably indicates and space radiation

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 - A stellar prodigy has been spotted about 450 light-years away in a system called UX Tau A by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers suspect this system’s central sun-like star, which is just one million years old, may already be surrounded by young planets. Scientists hope the finding will provide insight into when planets began to form in our own solar system. See article.
g Abodes - Many scientists are now convinced that Jupiter's moon Europa harbors a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust. The main question now is, could this ocean support life as we know it? See article.
g Life - Chris Impey has written a wonderfully readable book about the chances of life existing elsewhere in the universe (pretty high, in spite of the universe's appalling violence). But "The Living Cosmos" is not about just that. It is an overview of everything you need to know about the fundamentals, including how we got here and where we're probably going. More important, the science - a word that often causes eyes to glaze over -- is laid out with uncommon clarity and panache. See review.
g Intelligence - Do you sometimes have memories of a mysterious past life? Recall odd experiences such as being abducted by aliens? Wonder where these memories come from and if, in fact, you were really once whisked off in a flying saucer by ETs? Seems the answer may be simpler than you think—or remember. A new study shows that people with memories of past lives are more likely than others to misremember the source of any given piece of information. See article.
g Cosmicus - Measures to protect astronauts from health risks caused by space radiation will be important during extended missions to the moon or Mars, say researchers in a paper currently online in Experimental Neurology. See article.
g Learning - For 10 weeks in the summer of 2007, 16 students came to the SETI Institute as part of our Research Experience for Undergraduates program. In an excellent example of cooperation between two government agencies, 11 of the students were funded by the National Science Foundation, and 4 were funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute. See article.

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