Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Best way to hunt down ETI signals and new technique for finding exotic extrasolar planets

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, a team of astronomers has succeeded in investigating the earliest phases of the evolutionary history of our home Galaxy, the Milky Way. The scientists, from the Argelander Institute for Astronomy at Bonn University and the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, deduce that the early galaxy went from smooth to clumpy in just a few hundred million years. See article.
g Abodes - In a new analysis of a lunar sample collected by Apollo 17, researchers have detected and dated carbon on the moon in the form of graphite -- the sooty stuff of pencil lead - which survived from around 3.8 billion years ago, when the moon was heavily bombarded by meteorites. Up to now, scientists thought the trace amounts of carbon previously detected on the surface of the moon came from the solar wind. See article.
g Life - In a novel mathematical model that reproduces sleep patterns for multiple species, an international team of researchers has demonstrated that the neural circuitry that controls the sleep/wake cycle in humans may also control the sleep patterns of 17 different mammalian species. See article.
g Message - What’s the best way to hunt down the extraterrestrials? Traditionally, radio has been preferred. But is there some earthly bias in this assumption? Do researchers choose to scan the sky with large antennas only because, by historical accident, radio was developed decades earlier than the technology needed to communicate with light? See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - Astronomers have used a completely new technique to find an exotic extrasolar planet. The same approach might even be sensitive enough to find planets as small as the Earth in orbit around distant stars. See article.

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