Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oxygen-rich atmosphere at 2.4 billion years and Kepler snaps its first image

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 - Red dwarfs are smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun. There are more than a dozen of these stars within a few light years of our Earth, yet not one of them is visible to the naked eye. For years it was thought that they were a poor place to look for alien lifeforms. However, recent computer models contradict this supposition. This is excellent news for xenobiologists since four out of every five stars is a red dwarf. See article.
g Abodes - U.S. researchers say a study of sedimentary rocks created more than 2.4 billion years ago suggests the Earth had an early, oxygen-rich atmosphere. See article.
g Life - In this interview, Ariel Anbar - biogeochemist in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and the school of earth and space exploration at Arizona State University - talks to reporter May Copsey about fossils, “Star Trek” and life on Mars.
g Cosmicus - NASA's Kepler spacecraft has captured its first images of the star-rich patch of sky where it will soon begin searching for Earth-like planets. One image from Kepler's entire field of view is estimated to contain 14 million stars, more than 100,000 of which are considered excellent candidates for planet hunting. See article.

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