Thursday, July 15, 2010

Seeing through starlight to find Earth-like planets and the 1974 message we sent to ETIs

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 - Earth-like planets are familiar ground in science fiction, and in reality many scientists believe that our galaxy could be full of such worlds. However, habitable planets and moons are difficult to find because the light of their host stars is so bright in comparison. Now, scientists may have figured out a way to see through the starlight. See article.
g Life - The sample return canister from the Hayabusa spacecraft has been opened, and does contain a small amount of dust, possibly from the asteroid Itokawa. Studying samples from an asteroid can help astrobiologists determine if impacts delivered materials important to the origins of life on the early Earth. See article.
g Intelligence - A new journal article suggests that evolutionary forces also push women to be more sexual, although in unexpected ways. See article.
g Message - Earthlings haven't made many deliberate broadcasts to extraterrestrials, but in 1974, as part of a ceremony at the economy-sized Arecibo radio telescope, the observatory staff arranged to beam a three-minute message to a few hundred thousand stars in the constellation of Hercules. See article. This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - The shrinking technology of cell phones, laptops and cameras are now leading to palm-sized satellites. Easy to build and affordable, these small satellites offer a new way to conduct astrobiology research. They also could change the way we explore the universe. See article.

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