Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baby stars being born and a brand new view of our solar system

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 - A new panorama of a cosmic nebula offers an up-close glimpse of baby stars being born. See article.
g Abodes - The powerful telescopes and spacecraft deployed to explore our solar system have paid off incredibly in recent years, uncovering all kinds of surprises about our closest neighbors. The result: a solar system that feels brand new when you look at all that's known compared to just a decade ago. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA's space shuttles are flying their final missions this year, but one commercial spaceflight company in California has a new, privately-built rocket standing ready to replace the aging workhorse. See article.
g Imagining - Another early “Star Trek” alien is the Exo III android makers. We really don’t know what the android creators (aka “the Old Ones”) looked like, but we can presume by the way human duplicates were created with the android-making machine that they appear like Ruk (for pic, click here). Their height indicates that the planet’s gravity is slightly lighter than Earth’s, and there isn’t a discernable difference in the way humans step on this world. Possibly the savanna grass was taller than in our Africa (their hominid shape indicates a primate-oriented evolution). The whitish pallor probably is due to the lack of sunlight (though not the cold, as that also would make their bodies more compact); the aliens did go underground when a global ice age gripped their world. One interesting question is if they possessed the ability to build androids, why didn’t they just leave their planet when its habitability was lowered? Perhaps some religious or cultural belief prevented them from considering or pursuing space travel; possibly they developed the android-making machine when residing underground. While the show’s creators did a good job of making the Old Ones evolutionarily sound given the world’s climate of the past several eons, the aliens fall short on the Earth vertebrate factor: It’s highly unlikely that the exact facial arrangements as those of Earth’s vertebrates when first leaving the water for land would be so exactly duplicated.

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