Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clues about alien life in Argentina for and gamma-ray novas

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 - An unexpected and powerful new kind of star explosion has been discovered in the heavens — a so-called gamma-ray nova that radiates the most energetic form of light in the universe. See article.
g Abodes - A lake in Argentina's remote, inhospitable northwest may offer clues on how life got started on Earth and how it could survive on other planets, scientists say. See article.
g Life - A bias in the way amino acids twist could be due to supernovae, researchers now suggest. If correct, this could be more evidence that the molecules of life came from elsewhere in the cosmos. See article.
g Message - Does life exist beyond our small planet, Earth? This fundamental question drives scientists to search near and far. Using astronomical tools, SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) researchers seek the telltale sign of distant technological civilizations by listening for faint signals emitted by alien transmitters in planetary systems orbiting distant suns. See article. This article is from 2000.
g Cosmicus - Japan's solar sail – a sun-powered spacecraft launched in May – has successfully steered by using just the pressure of sunlight against its square polymer sail, Japan space officials said. See article.
g Learning - Kevin W. Plaxco and Michael Gross have written a book about astrobiology, “Life Beyond Earth,” that provides a general introduction to this new field. Plaxco is a member of the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Gross is a prolific science writer based in Oxford, England, whose other recent books include "Light and Life," "Travels to the Nanoworld," and "Life on the Edge." See review. This review is from 2006.
g Aftermath - Douglas Vakoch is one of a relatively small collection of scientists addressing the question of how to talk back to extraterrestrials. While most researchers involved in the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence come from physics and engineering backgrounds, Vakoch draws on a background in linguistics, sociology and psychology to explore SETI-related issues. Here’s an interview with him from 2002 about communicating with ET.

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