Saturday, February 06, 2010

Supernova without gamma rays and astrobiology curriculum

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 - For the first time, astronomers have found a supernova explosion with properties similar to a gamma-ray burst, but without seeing any gamma rays from it. See article.
g Message - Among the most important SETI work is being done at Harvard University. The Harvard SETI home page discusses the Radio Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, The Arecibo Search for Early Hydrogen and Optical SETI.
g Cosmicus - There is a genuine reason to be concerned. Earth has been hit by asteroids and comets many times over the past 4.5 billion years since its formation. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Learning - Here’s a preview version of the Astrobiology Curriculum, an interdisciplinary year-long course for middle and high school students developed by TERC and NASA. Through a series of investigations based on the search for life on other planets, students explore diverse concepts in chemistry, biology, Earth and space science, and engineering. Topics include the geologic history of planets, the chemical foundations of life, biological diversity, extremophiles, and the use of remote-sensing instrumentation. Students develop research skills through modeling, lab experiments, field observations, and image and data analysis, and are linked to data from NASA's planetary space missions. The site includes links to the overview, course description, sample activities with teacher guide, student guide and worksheets, and other astrobiology links.
g Aftermath - Recently, the SETI Institute conducted an informal online survey to show some of the steps psychologists and sociologists can take when doing research on SETI. As we noted in an earlier article, there are many ways that online surveys fail to meet the standards for rigorous scientific research. Nevertheless, Internet surveys have one strong selling point: If they are examined closely, they can provide a very concrete sense of the steps that social scientists take when conducting real studies under more controlled conditions. With the goal of gaining insight into the process of doing social scientific work on SETI, we will delve more deeply into the specific items used in our online questionnaire. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.

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