Friday, April 30, 2010

Forces driving star formation and we may not see aliens for centuries

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 – New images from ESA's Planck space observatory reveal the forces driving star formation and give astronomers a way to understand the complex physics that shape the dust and gas in our galaxy. See article.
g Life – A 95 million-year-old fossilized jaw discovered in Texas has been identified as a new genus and species of flying reptile, Aetodactylus halli. See article.
g Intelligence – Whether different odors can be quickly distinguished depends on certain synapses in the brain that inhibit nerve stimulation. See article.
g Message – For more than 80 years, we’ve been sending radio (and eventually television) transmissions into space, allowing anyone in space to hear war reports from London, “I Love Lucy” reruns and our latest election results. So wouldn’t hearing aliens be as simple as turning on the radio? Here’s why not. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus – NASA announced eight possible astrobiology missions Wednesday that would closely examine tiny microorganisms and minerals. See article.
g Aftermath – As telescopes become more advanced, we’ll be able to see more details about planets orbiting other stars – including indications that those planets have life. However, it would probably take many centuries before we could actually see the aliens. See article.

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