Monday, January 24, 2011

Betelgeuse’s misreported demise and modern artists imagine extraterrestrials

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 - Several online news sites, including the Huffington Post, have reported that the star Betelgeuse will undergo a supernova explosion next year — yes, that's 2012 — and shine as brightly in the sky as a second sun. But according to scientists, it's all nonsense. See article.
g Abodes - Twenty-five years ago, NASA made its only visit thus far to the planet Uranus. Voyager 2 returned unexpected images of an active planet and moons with dramatic surface features. The visit expanded our knowledge of the planets and helped astrobiologists understand whether or not planets and moons in the outer solar system could be habitable. See article.
g Life - Using a horror film to bring your date closer is a classic move in the teenage playbook. Now, a study of Australian birds finds that other animals use the same "scary movie effect" to attract female attention, by hitchhiking mating signals onto the calls of predators. See article.
g Message - Just exactly how does SETI work? See primer.
g Cosmicus - Scientists from Oxford University have made a significant step towards an ultrafast quantum computer by successfully generating 10 billion bits of quantum entanglement in silicon for the first time - entanglement is the key ingredient that promises to make quantum computers far more powerful than conventional computing devices. See article.
g Imagining - Here’s a review of the work by some modern artists who’ve imagined what extraterrestrials might look like.

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