Saturday, November 22, 2008

How a giant cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form our solar system and an essay by Frank Drake

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 - In 2004, NASA's Stardust mission returned to Earth with particles of the comet Wild 2. Now these particles are helping scientists understand how a giant cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. See article.
g Abodes - A newly developed method that detects tiny bits of zircon in rock reliably predicts the age of ocean crust more than 99 percent of the time, making the technique the most accurate so far. See article. Note: This article is from 2005.
g Message - "If you're sending a message to extraterrestrials, what you want to send is what's special about us and our planet — what is unusual," according to SETI astronomer Frank Drake. Read his essay.
g Cosmicus - According to a NASA report that evaluates the risks of sending a manned mission to Mars, Martian dust poses as one of the biggest potential problems. See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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