Saturday, December 04, 2010

Number of universe’s stars in triples and profound biological discovery

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 new study suggests that a specific kind of galaxy might hold 10 times more red dwarf stars than estimated. That would triple projections for the number of stars in the observable universe, with implications for explanations of how stars and galaxies form and evolve. See article.
g Abodes - Our sun may have a companion that disturbs comets from the edge of the solar system — a giant planet with up to four times the mass of Jupiter, researchers suggest. See article
g Life - On Thursday, NASA announced in a much-hyped press conference that scientists in California had identified a life form on earth that can use arsenic, rather than phosphorus, as part of its basic structure. Nothing like it has ever been discovered, and it had been widely assumed that the same six elements, of which phosphorus is one, were a precondition for life on earth. But life, it turns out, can get very creative. Though the announcement disappointed astrobiology aficionados hoping for the first hard evidence of extraterrestrial life, it nevertheless rewrites the rule book defining how life can exist. See editorial.
g Cosmicus - After seven months in space, the U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B unmanned space plane returned to Earth today to wrap up a debut flight shrouded in secrecy. See article.
g Learning - Could Star Trek’s Caretaker of The Original Series’ “Shore Leave” fame actually evolve? Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about his race with the exception that it is very advanced technologically and quite disciplined mentally. We also know that it appears human, which virtually eliminates it from the realm of possibility, as the parallel evolution on another planet of homo sapiens is extremely unlikely. However, the Caretaker’s kind may not be humanoid at all. Indeed, his race employs machinery that can nearly instantaneously create items based on the readings of one’s thoughts. It’s similar to what the Squire of Gothos and The Next Generation’s Q can do. However, the squire and the Q can achieve this instantaneously, the squire through a machine and the Q through an omnipotent understanding of the universe. Both the squire and the Q also are energy beings. Might the caretaker as well be one (though of a different race than the squire or the Q) and merely took on human form for the landing party’s sake?

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