Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reasons for optimism that life exists beyond Earth and is our solar system a binary?

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 - Is our Sun part of a binary star system? An unseen companion star, nicknamed “Nemesis,” may be sending comets towards Earth. If Nemesis exists, NASA’s new WISE telescope should be able to spot it. See article.
g Abodes - Geologists have found new evidence to support the “snowball Earth” theory, where sea ice extended all the way to the equator. Such an icy environment may have had a profound effect on the evolution of life on our planet. See article.
g Life - A major step in the evolution of life occurred some 1.5 billion years ago when cells began storing their DNA inside a nucleus. Scientists are gaining new insights into this evolutionary leap from prokaryotes to eukaryotes by studying the genome of a unique, single-celled organism. See article.
g Message - "Surely one of the most marvelous feats of 20th-century science would be the firm proof that life exists on another planet. In that case, the thesis that life develops spontaneously when the conditions are favorable would be far more firmly established, and our whole view of the problem of the origin of life would be confirmed." Stanley Miller and Harold Urey wrote in 1959. Unfortunately, their dream has not been realized, and as we begin this new millennium the question of whether life exists beyond the Earth remains unanswered. However, there are reasons for optimism that in the not-too-distant future we may have an answer. See article. Note: This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - Space exploration's multiple hazards don't end with a safe re-entry and landing: astronauts can disembark with serious medical problems brought on by prolonged exposure to microgravity. See article.

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