Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Habitable zone for Gamma Leporis AB and Mars Phoenix’ landing site

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 - What is the habitable zone for the nearby binary Gamma Leporis AB?
g Abodes - With less than two months to go before it is due to land on Mars, NASA's Phoenix probe has been directed towards a specific landing site called Green Valley. The site has few boulders that could potentially endanger a landing and lots of water ice for the lander to study. See article.
g Life - By refining a technique used to date rocks and fossils, scientists have now determined the date of the dinosaurs' extinction with pinpoint accuracy. The finding sheds new light on one of the most dramatic periods in the evolution of life on Earth. See article.
g Message - While advanced civilizations might be tempted to use optical means such as lasers to send information between the stars, there are some good reasons that nearly all the major Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence experiments are looking for radio waves instead. See article.
g Learning - Don’t quite know what a word you’ve come across in an astrobiology article means? Here’s a handy glossary. See article.

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