Monday, April 20, 2009

Exotic microbes from Blood Falls and setting priorities for planetary missions

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Tiny crystals in a meteorite are shedding light on the formation of planetesimals – small objects in space that can eventually become planets. The findings are teaching researchers about the history and evolution of the Earth and the early Solar System. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.
g Abodes - Quote of the Day: "… to consider the Earth the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field sown with millet only one grain will grow." - Metrodorus of Chios
g Life - Weird creatures trapped in a sunless, frigid, briny dungeon deep beneath the ice at Blood Falls — has a nice horror-movie ring to it, doesn’t it? And for microbes, they have quite the exotic back story. They’ve been living in dark pockets of an ancient saltwater lake trapped under the advancing Taylor Glacier in Antarctica between 2 million and 4 million years ago. See article.
g Cosmicus - The next "decadal" survey of the U.S. planetary-science community will consider the technical maturity and cost of space missions, as well as their scientific value in setting priorities, applying lessons learned from the delayed Mars Science Laboratory. See article.

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