Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Potassium discovered on exoworld and cosmic volcano prevents star formation

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 - A galactic "supervolcano" in the massive galaxy M87 is erupting, blasting gas outwards. The cosmic volcano — driven by a giant black hole in M87's center — is preventing hundreds of millions of new stars from forming. See article.
g Abodes - Astronomers have discovered the element potassium in the atmosphere of a planet about 190 light years from Earth. Identifying elements necessary for life in the atmospheres of exoplanets could one day help astrobiologists identify habitable worlds beyond our solar system. See article.
g Life - Ants are not out of their weight class when defending trees from the appetite of nature's heavyweight, the African elephant, a new University of Florida study finds. See article.
g Intelligence - Our cerebral cortex, or pallium, is a big part of what makes us human: art, literature and science would not exist had this most fascinating part of our brain not emerged in some less intelligent ancestor in prehistoric times. But when did this occur and what were these ancestors? Unexpectedly, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, have now discovered a true counterpart of the cerebral cortex in an invertebrate, a marine worm. See article.
g Message - The spectral approach is a universal tool of both astronomical observations and SETI. Furthermore, it has a clear physical meaning – a spectrometer finds the energy distribution of photons, in human sensing it is color and pitch. Under the hypothesis on identity of physical laws in our part of universe, it may be proposed that spectrometry also are using by those aliens, who know radio and lead theirs own SETI, too. See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - what are some different ways – including those of a speculative nature – that we might propel a ship through space? See article.
g Learning - The academic performance of adolescents will suffer in at least one of four key subjects - English, math, science, history - if their DNA contains one or more of three specific dopamine gene variations, according to a new study. See article.

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