Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Exploring Martian life in Australian lakes and the five tones of ‘Close Encounters’

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 - Researchers have discovered a distant star that exploded when its center became so hot that matter and anti-matter particle pairs were created. The star, dubbed Y-155, began its life around 200 times the mass of our Sun but probably became "pair-unstable" and triggered a runaway thermonuclear reaction that made it visible nearly halfway across the universe. See article.
g Abodes - The Voyager 1 spacecraft, after traveling about 4 billion miles into space, turned around and looked back home. From such a distance, the Earth appeared as a pale blue dot, a single point of light suspended in the vast blackness of space. If aliens from much more distant worlds were to look at our solar system, the Earth, if it could be seen at all, would seem even more tiny and faint. How could they know that dot of light represents a world teeming with life? See article.
g Life - By the time Curiosity, the next Mars Rover, launches in 2011, scientists on Earth will know more about the potential for life on Mars because of microorganisms that live in Australian lakes. See article.
g Intelligence - Spontaneous brain activity formerly thought to be "white noise" measurably changes after a person learns a new task, researchers have shown. See article.
g Message - Would the five tones from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” be a good signal to send ETI? See article.
g Learning - A new study co-written by a University of Illinois expert in math education suggests that incorporating technology in high school-level geometry classes not only makes the teaching of concepts such as congruency easier, it also empowers students to discover other geometric relationships they wouldn't ordinarily uncover when more traditional methods of instruction were used. See article.
g Imagining - From historical myths and legends to fanciful science-fiction tales of little green men and the uncertain possibility of life beyond our planet, Aliens have been a pop-culture phenomenon for centuries now, being portrayed as both harmless curious visitors to threatening monsters with aspirations to take over our planet. See article.
g Aftermath - A raft of newly unclassified CIA documents reveal that the remote possibility of alien invasion elicited greater fear than a Soviet nuclear attack. See article.

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