Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Low-mass star’s habitable zones and ‘The Amazing Adventures of AstrobioBot’

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 - NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of a star-forming cloud of dust and gas, called Sh2-284, located in the constellation of Monoceros. Lining up along the edges of a cosmic hole are several "elephant trunks" - or monstrous pillars of dense gas and dust. See article.
g Abodes - Tides can render the so-called "habitable zone" around low-mass stars uninhabitable, a new report says. See article.
g Life - A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists. See article.
g Intelligence - Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme, say researchers supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health. See article.
g Message - For many years the microwave Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence held the spotlight, while the number of optical SETI observatories on this planet could be counted on the thumbs of one hand. In the five years since the last Optical SETI Conference, that has begun to change, with optical SETI finally emerging into the scientific mainstream. Advancing technology is only partly responsible for OSETI's change of fortune. This author believes that the ultimate acceptance of the optical search strategy can be attributed to the tireless efforts of a single pioneer. See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - China is ready to carry out a multiphase construction program that leads to a large space station around 2020. As a prelude to building that facility, China is set to loft the Tiangong-1 module this year as a platform to help master key rendezvous and docking technologies. See article.
g Learning - Astrobiology Magazine introduces our first comic series, The Amazing Adventures of AstrobioBot. This digital version of a Sunday comic will follow the journeys of a little robot as he builds himself into a full-fledged astrobiology explorer. See article.

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