Monday, August 30, 2010

Three more planets discovered and how ancient terror birds fought

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 discovered two Saturn-sized planets and one likely Earth-sized planet transiting the star 'Kepler 9'. It is the first confirmed system with more than one planet transiting the same star. The researchers believe that system may be one of the best locations for studying how planets form and how planetary systems evolve. See article.
g Life - Ancient giant predators known as "terror birds" may have fought like boxer Muhammad Ali, scientists now suggest. See article.
g Message - The modern Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is based on the premise that a systematic search of the cosmos may reveal artificial signals, transmitted either intentionally or, somewhat like the leakage of TV and radio signals from Earth today, as electromagnetic noise. But will these signals, if we ever detect them, be more than simple beacons telling us that we are not alone? What if the signals bear messages from an alien civilization, attempting to describe the universe from the perspective of an intelligent species evolved completely independently of humankind? See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - A new contraption that artificially induces the dizzying effects of spaceflight in human brains without the pesky need to actually leave Earth is gaining ground as a tool to train new pilots and astronauts. See article.
g Learning - Here’s a neat Web site that explains the history of the universe to kids. They can click onto a piece of a puzzle that visually shows the major steps from the Big Bang to people.
g Aftermath - Though an older Web posting, “After Contact, Then What?” shows how little we’ve thought about this question.

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