Sunday, January 24, 2010

Space chemicals leading to life and public excited by astrobiology-oriented film

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 first microbiological survey of Mars analog lakes in Western Australia is offering new evidence of the diverse life that could have once thrived on Mars. See article.
g Life - The landscape could be the backdrop of a post­apocalyptic film. It’s an environment of extremes, blasted by intense radiation, fierce winds and shock waves from violent explosions. Yet within this desolation, species persist. Not only are there ordinary, familiar faces, there is also, evidence suggests, a motley crew: galactic gangs that would make Mad Max cringe. Some are decked out in metal; others are radicals itching to react, amped up with positive and, new research shows, even negative charge. See article.
g Message - SETI researchers are a bold lot. They’ve chosen to accept a mission that might dissuade Mr. Phelps. Year after year, they spin their telescopes to the sky, sifting through a broiling rumpus of cosmic static in hopes of finding a signal made by other beings. But how will they know? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - James Cameron's "Avatar" has continued to break box office records, has won the Golden Globe Awards for "best picture" and "best director", and is now headed for the Oscars. There is clearly something that the public enjoys about "Avatar". At a time when NASA needs to re-exert its relevance to decision makers and the public, you'd think that there would be some effort to tap this interest in a movie about the wonders of extrasolar planets, astrobiology, and what may lay out there as we explore space - rendered in unparalleled detail and believability. So, how did NASA capitalize on this phenomenon? Answer: It didn't. See article.
g Learning - A study of Greek school children indicates that spatial knowledge lies at the root of how youngsters conceptualize time. See article.

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