Sunday, December 14, 2008

Carbon dioxide in extrasolar planet’s atmosphere and a giant ball invades Earth

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. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Abodes -The Hubble Space Telescope has identified carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. The discovery is an important step toward identifying habitable planets beyond our solar system. See article.
g Message - The Harvard SETI Group have conducted several searches for extraterrestrial life since 1978. Read this history of those searches.
g Learning - Here’s a neat lesson for middle school students about extraterrestrials, courtesy of the Discovery channel.
g Imagining - Plenty of movies have been created where aliens visit Earth. Some have been cute and cuddly (“E.T.”), and others have blown up our national landmarks (“Independence Day”). Now, brace yourselves for the scariest alien of all when our planet is invaded by... Keanu Reeves and giant balls? See article.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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