Friday, March 25, 2011

Quartz’s key role in shaping our world and the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe

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 - The skewed light from near the well-known black hole Cygnus X-1 is revealing new details about the warped space and extraordinarily powerful magnetic fields close to it, astronomers find. See article.
g Abodes - Quartz plays a key role in initiating the churning chain of events that cause Earth's surface to crack, wrinkle, fold and stretch into mountains, plains and valleys, new research says. See article.
g Life - A new microscopic “cloak” could change the way that scientists capture images of bacteria and other cells. The new technology could help uncover new discoveries about life at the cellular level. See article.
g Intelligence - The tendency to perceive others as "us versus them" isn't exclusively human but appears to be shared by our primate cousins, a new study has found. See article.
g Message - To contact an alien civilization, humanity might want to consider a Bracewell probe — a hypothetical concept for an autonomous interstellar space probe dispatched for the express purpose of communication with (an) alien civilization(s). It was proposed by Ronald N. Bracewell in a 1960 paper, as an alternative to interstellar radio communication between widely separated civilizations. See article.
g Cosmicus - Any NASA mission that sends a crew of astronauts to visit an asteroid will be fraught with challenges and risks, but the first step for any such endeavor is to understand exactly which near-Earth objects may warrant a human visitation. See article.
g Learning - How many planets exists which might support life? Indeed, what is required for life to exist? How does life start? How does it evolve, and what fabulous creatures can evolution produce? How often do intelligent creatures appear in the giant tapestry of life? It is exactly these questions, and all of them, which are being addressed by the scientists of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. See article.

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