Monday, December 28, 2009

Mystery of blue stragglers and SETI pioneers

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 - For almost 50 years, astronomers have puzzled over the youthful appearance of stars known as blue stragglers. See article.
g Abodes - Like sugar plum fairies in "The Nutcracker," the moons of Saturn performed a celestial ballet before the eyes of NASA's Cassini spacecraft. New movies frame the moons' silent dance against the majestic sweep of the planet's rings and show as many as four moons gliding around one another. See article.
g Intelligence - Maternal behavior itself can trigger the development of new neurons in the maternal brain independent of whether the female was pregnant or has nursed, according to a study released by researchers. See article.
g Message - Book alert: Here’s an oldie but goodie worth picking up — “SETI Pioneers: Scientists Talk About Their Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” by David W. Swift. This instructive book (by a University of Hawaii sociologist) compiles Q & A interviews with 17 researchers, mostly American, who are involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. While the field, which did not attract attention from scientists until 1959, remains a fledgling discipline, it now draws physicists, astronomers, electrical engineers, chemists and an aerospace physician into its orbit. Scientists featured here discuss current methods used to investigate ETI, and others they hope to develop, but general readers will most likely value the impact of their personalities — modest, open, thoughtful, occasionally waggish — above talk of technicalities.
g Cosmicus - Quote of the Day: “To know there was intelligent life – waiting for us out in the galaxy - … that would stimulate our curiosity, our drive to get there, more than anything else would.” – Fredric Brown, “The Lights in the Sky are Stars”

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