Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New exoworld discovered and defending the planet against invading aliens

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 - Astronomers have confirmed the existence of a gas giant planet, named HD 209458b, that is orbiting so close to its star that its heated atmosphere is escaping into space. Studying the 'cometary planet' can provide new information about the evolution of planets and the variety of worlds that exist beyond our solar system. See article.
g Message - As the deep, rich drone of a didgeridoo continued to emanate from a portable CD player, American composer Andrew Kaiser wrapped up his argument for the role of music in interstellar communication. Speaking at a 2002 workshop in Paris, Kaiser echoed the sentiments of others at the meeting, stressing the fruitful interplay of art and science in constructing interstellar messages. See article. This article is from 2002.
g Cosmicus - To address the needs of high mobility along with a variety of manipulation activities for a astrobiology robot, a modular based approach seems appropriate because, the robot could be adjusted and modified in the field to test a variety of configurations for different tasks. One target of the field experiments was to see how long it would take to reconfigure and reprogram the system to adapt to new changes. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat classroom activity courtesy of NASA: Size and Shape. Size and shape are important in astrobiology. In this activity and slideshow, students will observe the importance of relative size and morphology in identifying microscopic structures when viewed with the scanning electron microscope.
g Aftermath - Book alert: How do we defend the planet in the event of an extra-terrestrial invasion? In “An Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-Terrestrial Invasion”, Travis Taylor, et al., examine the matter.

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