Friday, February 19, 2010

Detecting water in the protoplanetary disks and signaling across space

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 - The trigger that ignites a common type of stellar explosion has finally been uncovered with observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, providing a major advance in the understanding of supernovas. See article.
g Abodes - A new technique is being developed to detect water in the protoplanetary disks of other solar systems. If successful, it would help in our understanding of how habitable planets form. See article.
g Message - When it comes to signaling across space, power is paramount. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus - President Barack Obama has virtually scrapped a National Aeronautics and Space Administration program, directing funds away from a proposed lunar expedition and toward the development of technology. See article.
g Learning - The sea near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, is -2° C, but the water is not frozen at that temperature. Why? In this school activity, students can explore some of the properties of water and ice by making their own ice cream.
g Aftermath - For one futurist’s thoughts about what will happen to humanity when we make first contact with aliens, click here. I offer this site not for its scientific rigor but as an example of something all of us who care about astrobiology should consider: What are the trends in popular culture about first contact? Such thinking will greatly influence public reaction when first contact actually does occur.

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