Monday, April 25, 2011

Eavesdropping on alien radio transmissions close to impossible – yet emissions from radio aurora of Jupiter-like planets detectable with radio telescopes

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 - Astronomers have identified what appears to be a cosmic smoking gun for a historic supernova explosion, a find that may also help with the search for elusive dark energy in the universe. See article.
g Abodes - A new study shows that emissions from the radio aurora of Jupiter-like planets should be detectable with radio telescopes. The finding means that detecting exoplanets that orbit at large distances from their star could now be easier to find. See article.
g Life - A new study indicates that the Earth could recover from rising CO2 emissions faster than previously thought. Fifty-six million years ago, during a period of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2, the Earth increased its ability to pull carbon from the air and sped up the planet's recovery. See article.
g Message - Eavesdropping on alien radio transmissions may be close to impossible, says a team of researchers who think alien signals would be indistinguishable from interstellar noise. See article.
g Imagining - Could "Star Trek"'s Alfa 177 canine exist? Setting aside the facial features that show the canine is an Earth-descended vertebrate, the answer is yes. The Alfa 113 biome the Enterprise crew visits is cold but dry, perhaps a summer plain set below a great continental ice sheet. In cold climates, life forms need to be compact and/or covered in thick hair or fat; this is so with this creature. In addition, the canine's short legs indicate it need not worry about snowdrifts. Based on the creature's canine teeth and jaw structure, it must be a predator; considering the canine's size, it likely preys on creatures no larger than rats - and rodents are quite abundant on the tundra. A lack of claws indicates it doesn't burrow, however, which probably would be necessary in such a climate. Perhaps caves in the area or other creature's burrows provide shelter. As for the antenna upon its head, I'll withhold speculation!

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