Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weirdly empty portions of universe and general public offers advice on future astrobiology missions

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 - Astronomers had just found a chunk of the universe that seemed weirdly empty — no galaxies, no clouds of gas, no nothing. In the decades since, they've found lots more. The universe, we now know, resembles a cosmic Swiss cheese, with galaxies organized into sheets and filaments surrounding mostly empty spaces. See article.
g Abodes - While examining a relatively new crater on Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover has discovered rocks coated with a strange material that may have been formed through a process involving water. New software is also helping Opportunity gather more science data by allowing the rover to choose its own research targets autonomously. See article.
g Message - While advanced civilizations might be tempted to use optical means such as lasers to send information between the stars, there are some good reasons that nearly all the major Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence experiments are looking for radio waves instead. See article. Note: This article is from 1996.
g Cosmicus - For the last few months, Astrobiology Magazine has been running a poll to see what our readers think should be the next target of a mission in the solar system. As we close the poll, see how the results compare to current mission plans. See article.
g Learning - In many places, science (and the arts) are not even on the school bus with the kids. This is not simply a mistake. It’s a form of discrimination against children who will never find the entrance to the “pipeline” that leads to well-paid science, technology, engineering and mathematics education careers. See article.

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