Friday, February 26, 2010

Bringing potential traces of Martian life back to Earth and Cosmos Education

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 - Newly released images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal a forest of new jets spraying from prominent fractures on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Relatively warm temperatures were also observed along fractures, potentially caused by water vapor propelling the ice-particle jets of the plumes. See article.
g Life - High-impact lab experiments simulate whether the building blocks of life could have survived the rough arrival on Earth via meteorite impact. See article.
g Cosmicus - Fifty years after NASA began grappling with the idea of life beyond our planet, it's in the midst of planning missions to bring potential traces of Martian life back to Earth ... again. See article.
g Learning - “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” These words by Carl Sagan on the back of more than 200 T-shirts the SETI Institute donated to Cosmos Education – a grassroots non-profit dedicated to science and technology education and the role of science and technology in health, the environment, and sustainable development. Its model is simple – we seek to engage, empower, and inspire youth in developing countries through hands-on learning activities and experiments. Students learn about the molecular structure of water by pretending to be oxygen and hydrogen atoms; they learn about how soap works by doing experiments with soap, water, and oil; they learn about the HIV virus by constructing a human chain model of DNA. These and our many other activities capture the curiosity of students and get them asking questions about the world in which they live. See article. Note: This article is from 2005.
g Aftermath - Here’s an intriguing article that is frequently referenced in astrobiology papers: "The Consequences of a Discovery: Different Scenarios" by astronomer Ivan Almar. Note: This article is from 1995.

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