Monday, January 25, 2010

Analogues of the first Martian environments and the next decade of human space exploration

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 - Until space agencies will be able to develop the necessary technology to put people in a permanent outpost on the Red Planet, scientists have no chance of analyzing the Martian environment first-hand. Undoubtedly, if one were to investigate the rocks, river beds, deltas and craters on our neighboring planet, many of its mysteries would be revealed, but rovers, landers and orbiters cannot send too much information about the most interesting aspects of Mars. So, for now, researchers stick to analyzing the analogues of the first Martian environments, right here on Earth. See article.
g Message - Want to help SETI discover alien life? If you haven’t already done so, download the free SETI at Home software. Using Internet-connected computers, the program downloads and analyzes radio telescope data on your desktop when it is idle. The program has been so successful in plowing through data that other scientific researchers, especially in medicine, are adopting it to their fields.
g Cosmicus - As we look to the next decade, what sort of human space exploration will we see? See article.
g Learning - If you’re a high school student interested in a career as an astrobiologist, what can you did in school to put yourself on the right track? See article.
g Imagining - Skull Island’s commendably diverse population (of “King Kong” fame) isn’t very realistic. In such isolated habitats, competition among species is limited. The consequence is that, with time, predator species tend to get smaller while prey species grow larger. The optimum size (at least for mammals) seems to be roughly that of a rabbit. Kong is bigger than many rabbits. See article. Note: This article is from 2006.

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