Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exploring 20,000-foot high volcano to better understand ET and Voyager 2 going strong for nearly 33 years

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - The highest lake in the world hides near the summit of a dormant volcano, a small icy pool in a sleeping giant towering nearly 20,000 feet above Chiles Atacama Desert. The volcano’s name is Licancabur, and its largely unexplored lake poses many questions that are directly relevant to space exploration and astrobiology. See article. This article is from 2002.
g Life - As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, so does the pressure on the plant kingdom. The hope among policymakers, scientists and concerned citizens is that plants will absorb some of the extra CO2 and mitigate the impacts of climate change. For a few decades now, researchers have hypothesized about one major roadblock: nitrogen. See article.
g Intelligence - A worldwide survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries included questions about happiness and income, and the results reveal that while life satisfaction usually rises with income, positive feelings don't necessarily follow, researchers report. See article.
g Message - The drive to place humanity at the center of the universe has led to a stream of assumptions that, as facts have been collected, are shown to be ill founded. The Ptolemaic Earth centered view was replaced by Copernican Sun centered view, which in its time was also replaced. The assumption that we are alone in the universe is also under threat of replacement. One of the more interesting aspects of our apparent aloneness was pointed out by Enrico Fermi and is know as Fermi's Paradox. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA's plucky Voyager 2 spacecraft has hit a long-haul operations milestone June 28 - operating continuously for 12,000 days. For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning data about the giant outer planets, and the characteristics and interaction of solar wind between and beyond the planets. Among its many findings, Voyager 2 discovered Neptune's Great Dark Spot and its 450-meter-per-second (1,000-mph) winds. See article.

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