Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making planet Earth a member of the Galactic Club and star devouring planet

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 - WASP-12b is the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy and may also be the shortest-lived. Observations with a new instrument on the Hubble telescope show the planet being eaten by its parent star. See article.
g Abodes - New studies on the carbon isotopes present in ancient plants and microorganism communities in modern soils are helping scientists improve climate change models. The studies are also providing new insight into the co-evolution of life and our planet. See article.
g Life - Researchers may have determined a way to glean new information from ancient, poorly preserved fossils. Remnants of stromatolites that are billions of years old could help astrobiologists identify when microorganisms first began using photosynthesis to harvest energy from sunlight. See article.
g Message - In this essay, David Schwartzman explains how we can communicate with intelligent aliens, finally making planet Earth a member of the Galactic Club. See article.
g Cosmicus - The Phoenix Mars Lander hasn't risen from a long winter encased in dry ice in the frozen northern latitudes of the red planet. See article.
g Learning - Why do so few women pursue careers in computer science? In 2007, only 18.6 percent of computer science bachelor’s degrees went to women, according to the National Science Foundation. In the work force, women make up just 26 percent of computer scientists, compared to 41 percent of life scientists. See article.
g Aftermath - Over the past forty years, astronomers have intermittently observed the heavens with radio telescopes, looking for signs of intelligent life around distant stars. During its early decades, this search was limited by the amount of time available on major telescopes, as well as signal processing capability. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.

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