Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Test drill for Martian ice and finding alien probes

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 - New dark matter observations may yield new insights into the role of dark energy in the universe's early formative years. The result suggests that galaxy clusters may have formed earlier than expected, before the push of dark energy inhibited their growth. See article.
g Life - An international team of scientists, including a leading evolutionary biologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, have reset the agenda for future research in the highly diverse Amazon region by showing that the extraordinary diversity found there is much older than generally thought. See article.
g Intelligence - Dirty “kitchen” tools reveal that cavemen were grinding their own flour and preparing vegetables for meals at least 30,000 years ago, according to new research. See article.
g Message - A typical alien probe might be 1 to 10 m in size, large enough to house a microwave antenna to report back and to- survive micrometeorite impacts for millions of years, yet fight enough to fly across the interstellar abyss without consuming too much energy. Where might it be? Finding it is rather like searching a beach for one special, oddly-shaped grain of sand. See article. This article is from 1984.
g Cosmicus - Members of NASA’s IceBite team will be in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys this month testing a drill developed by Honeybee Robotics for possible use on a future mission to the arctic northern plains of Mars. The IceBreaker drill is designed to obtain samples for scientific analysis of ice and soil from as much as a meter (3 feet) below the surface. See article.
g Learning - More than three decades after concentrating in a subject that would not become the focus of his career, astronomer and astrophysics professor Adam Burrows sought to make it easier for current students to do so. See article.

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