Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Turbulence in protoplanetary disks and Updike on Mars

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 - New research shows that turbulence in protoplanetary disks plays a key role in the birth of planet. The finding may alter theories on how planets form from dust and debris around distant stars. See article.
g Abodes - Data and images from Mars Express suggest that several Light Toned Deposits, some of the least understood features on Mars, were formed when large amounts of groundwater burst on to the surface. Scientists propose that groundwater had a greater role in shaping the Martian surface than previously believed, and may have sheltered primitive life forms as the planet started drying up. See article.
g Message - When talk turns to SETI, there’s one question that’s as common as catfish: "We’re not broadcasting to the aliens; so what makes you think they’ll be broadcasting to us?" See article.
g Learning - We've seen so many Mars images in recent years, our nearest neighbor might be starting to seem a tad familiar. Science fiction author John Updike aims to fix that, with some help from National Geographic.See article.
g Imagining - The 2008 remake of Robert Wise’s 1951 “The Day the Earth Stood Still ,” which depicted an alien visit to our planet in an attempt to draw attention to the destructive nature of human actions, especially that of wars, opened Friday in the U.S. to rather poor reviews. See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s another “old” piece worth reading: “Consequences of Success in SETI: Lessons from the History of Science”, given during a Bioastronomy Symposium in 1993.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: