Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Smallest exoplanet yet discovered and what’s in the future for NASA

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - The COROT mission’s 27-cm telescope has discovered the smallest exoplanet yet, with a diameter less than twice that of Earth. COROT-Exo-7b orbits a Sun-like star and highlights the ongoing space-based investigation into rocky worlds that is drawing ever closer to an Earth-mass object. See article.
g Life - Handedness, or "chirality," is when molecules come in two forms that are mirror images of each other, like right- and left-handed gloves. Even though chiral molecules are produced equally in nature, life seems to prefer one hand over the other. The reason for this is a mystery that scientists are struggling to answer. See article.
g Cosmicus - Science recently interviewed Ed Weiler, who's back at the helm of NASA's science program after a stint running Goddard Space Flight Center, about his plans for managing a $4.5 billion effort that spans numerous disciplines and must grapple with a serious glut of missions.

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