Saturday, April 25, 2009

A prediction that we’ll discover alien life within 10 years and understanding lunar dust behavior

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 - Because of their low luminosities, the circumstellar habitable zones of red dwarf stars are located within 0.05-0.4 AU of the host star. Nevertheless, the prospect of life on a planet located within the HZ of a red dwarf is moderately high, based on the longevity of these stars (>50 Gyr), their constant luminosities and high space densities, researchers say. See article.
g Abodes - It was arguably the biggest news in science this month: A graduate student in Australia discovered the continent of Africa. See article.
g Life - The genomes of man and dog have been joined in the scientific barnyard by the genome of the cow, an animal that walked beside them on the march to modern civilization. See article.
g Cosmicus - By revisiting data from the Apollo missions, researchers have gained new insight into the behavior of lunar dust. The very fine and sticky nature of dust on the moon could cause problems for future human missions. Lunar dust can coat and damage equipment, and poses health risks for astronauts who breathe it in. See article.
g Learning - Each year SPIE, an international optics and photonics society, recognizes outstanding achievements in the industry through its awards program. This year’s gold medal went to a scientist for work on an astrobiology-related project. See article.
g Aftermath - Professor Peter Smith, the University of Arizona expert who led NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, predicts that at least basic forms of life would be discovered within the next decade. Microbes and bacteria were, thus far, the best bet, he said. See article.

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