Monday, April 21, 2008

Hunting for life around red dwarfs and hot on ET’s trail

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 - Only recently has the idea of habitable planets around red dwarf stars taken hold. But it’s a fascinating one, especially if you take a look at the potential window for life to develop on such worlds. M-class red dwarfs live anywhere from 50 billion up to several trillion years, a vast stretch compared with our own Sun’s projected ten billion years. And with 75 percent of main sequence stars thought to be red dwarfs, the hunt for life can be expanded enormously if we add red dwarfs to the mix. See article.
g Abodes - A study of a meteorite that fell in Egypt nearly 95 years ago may offer clues as to the search for possible life on Mars. Researchers studying the meteorite that originated from Mars found a series of microscopic tunnels within the object that mimic the size, shape and distribution to tracks left on Earth rocks by the feeding frenzy of bacteria. See article.
g Life - If "E.T." is out there, whether in the form of intelligent beings or much simpler organisms, we may soon be hot on its trail. For the first time in history, the dream of searching for signs of life in other solar systems belongs not only on the philosopher's wish list but also on the list of doable and planned human endeavors. Note: This article is from 2002. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA and the European Space Agency are rapidly developing a $3-billion outer planets flagship effort that could barnstorm the giant icebergs and subsurface oceans of Jupiter's moon Europa, or deliver a low-altitude imaging airship and a miniature submarine to probe the methane lakes on Saturn's moon Titan. See article.

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