Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Atmospheric maps of Mars and role of asteroids in planetary habitability

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 - A new study shows that asteroids are constantly changing “little worlds” that can give birth to smaller asteroids. Studying asteroids is important because asteroid impacts could have played an important role in the origin of life, and may still affect the future habitability of Earth. See article.
g Intelligence - Archaeologists have found new clues why the Maya left their seemingly prosperous civilization. See article.
g Message - If we get a message from extraterrestrials, we can’t count on them laying out direct translations between one of their languages and, say, English or Swahili. And that, say anthropologist Ben Finney and historian Jerry Bentley, could limit how much we can learn from extraterrestrials. See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere. The data will help astrobiologists determine the potential for past or present life on Mars. See article.
g Learning - The launch pad used by the first United States astronauts to enter orbit around Earth may soon be revived as an engineering classroom for a new generation of rocket builders, where laid off space shuttle technicians are the teachers. See article.
g Aftermath - Scientists should pay greater attention to discussing the social implications of discovering extraterrestrial life - even though many researchers shy away from the subject because they don't consider it "hard" science. See article. This article is from 2002.

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