Thursday, October 14, 2010

Doubt cast on Gliese 581 planet discovery and clues about origin of life in Titan’s atmosphere

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 - Physicists are hot on the trail of one of strangest theorized structures in the universe. A team of researchers have announced what they think are the first indirect observations of ancient cosmic strings, bizarre objects thought to have contributed to the arrangement of objects throughout the universe. See article.
g Abodes - Last month, astronomers announced the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet. But this week at an International Astronomical Union meeting, doubts were raised about the existence of this exciting new planet said to be orbiting the star Gliese 581. See article.
g Life - A new simulation has demonstrated that complex organic molecules, such as amino acids and nucleotide bases, could be formed by chemical processes in the atmosphere of Titan. Studying these processes could yield clues about the origin of life. See article.
g Message - A lot of science fiction doesn’t offer a particularly accurate description of SETI. Here’s one piece that does: Carl Sagan’s “Contact”, published by Simon & Schuster in 1985. In this story, the discovery of radio signals from extraterrestrial intelligence leads humanity to re-evaluate its self-image. The heroine is loosely based on Jill Tarter, the scientist who leads one of the major scientific searches for signals today.
g Cosmicus - A private suborbital spaceship flew its first solo test flight on Oct. 10 from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. See article.

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