Friday, March 28, 2008

Hypergiants surrounding by planet-forming dust and what's living beneath Lake Vostok

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 Spitzer Space Telescope has identified two huge "hypergiant" stars circled by monstrous disks of what might be planet-forming dust. The findings surprised astronomers because stars as big as these were thought to be inhospitable to planets. See article.
g Abodes - What’s living in Antarctica’s ice-covered Lake Vostok? Scientists hope to find out by studying an ice core recovered from some two miles below the surface, just above the lake itself. But first they have to make sure they don’t contaminate their sample. See article.
g Aftermath - Book alert: Here's an interesting book for some astrobiological reading: "After Contact: The Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life" by Albert A. Harrison. See article.

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