Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Exoplanets with highly tilted orbits and better odds detecting ETI’s radar signals

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 - Two companion galaxies couldn't look more different from one another, a new photo from NASA's WISE telescope reveals. See article.
g Abodes - New research shows that exoplanetary systems with highly tilted orbits might be typical rather than rare. The study provides important information for testing models of how the orbits of planetary systems evolve and could help astrobiologists better understand where and how to search for new planets. See article.
g Life - Any definition is intricately connected to a theory that gives it meaning. Accordingly, this article discusses various definitions of life held in the astrobiology community by considering their connected ‘‘theories of life.’’ These include certain ‘‘list’’ definitions and a popular definition that holds that life is a ‘‘self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution.’’
g Message - A comparison of the total number of the radar astronomy transmissions with respect to that used for sending messages to extraterrestrial civilizations reveals that the probability of detection of the radio signals to extraterrestrials is one million times smaller than that of the radar signals used to study planets and asteroids in the solar system. See article.
g Cosmicus - After more than four decades of humans sending robotic missions to the Red Planet, Mars science is entering a new phase, coinciding with the launch of NASA's Curiosity rover planned for this later this year, according to experts who spoke at a panel discussion last week. See article.
g Imagining - While I’m researching our next alien, browse the local used bookstores for this volume, which examined the scientific plausibility of many alien creatures in “Star Trek”: “To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek.” Published in 2001, Athena Andreadis' book makes a good read, boosted by her background as a molecular biologist and neurosurgeon. See review.

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