Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Titan not so geologically active and the shuttles’ final resting places

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - Have the surface and belly of Saturn's smog-shrouded moon, Titan, recently simmered like a chilly, bubbling cauldron with ice volcanoes, or has this distant moon gone cold? In a newly published analysis, a pair of NASA scientists analyzing data collected by the Cassini spacecraft suggest Titan may be much less geologically active than some scientists have thought. See article.
g Life - The evolution and diversification of the more than 300,000 living species of flowering plants may have been "jump started" much earlier than previously calculated, a new study indicates. See article.
g Intelligence - A study published by two researchers found that pigeons recognize a human face's identity and emotional expression in much the same way as people do. See article.
g Learning - NASA unveiled the final flight plans for its three retiring space shuttles on Tuesday, assigning two to museums in Washington, D.C., and California, and keeping the third at its launch and landing site in Florida. A fourth, prototype orbiter will also go to a new home in New York. See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s an intriguing short story for you to look up: Frederick Pohl’s “The Day after the Day the Martians Came.” It examines racial prejudice and raises an interesting point about how we might react to one another following alien contact. Pohl’s story is anthologized in the classic “Dangerous Visions,” edited by Harlan Ellison.

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