Saturday, November 20, 2010

Planet from another galaxy and new drill for exploring Mars

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 huge snakelike tendril of magnetic plasma has appeared on the sun, extending hundreds of thousands of miles across the surface of our nearest star. See article.
g Abodes - Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy. The planet is unusual because it orbits a star nearing the end of its life. Studying the planet will provide new information about the evolution of planetary systems. See article.
g Intelligence - A sophisticated new examination of teeth from 11 Neanderthal and early human fossils shows that modern humans are slower than our ancestors to reach full maturity. The finding suggests that our characteristically slow development and long childhood are recent and unique to our own species, and may have given early humans an evolutionary advantage over Neanderthals. See article.
g Message - Since SETI first became a subject for serious scientific research, scientists have come up with many possible ways to detect the presence of other civilizations by searching our part of the galaxy for signs of artificially created signals. Using many different kinds of detection equipment and novel concepts, investigators labored away in their electronics laboratories and observatories dreaming, that one day, the signs they had been searching for would be found. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA’s IceBite team is in Antarctica this month testing a new drill built by Honeybee Robotics for use on a possible future mission to Mars. In this blog entry, Kris Zacny writes about setting up the Icebreaker drill. See article.

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