Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Calculating the Hoyle state and 2016 astrobiology mission options

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 - El Niño and its partner La Niña, the warm and cold phases in the eastern half of the tropical Pacific, play havoc with climate worldwide. Predicting El Niño events more than several months ahead is now routine, but predicting how it will change in a warming world has been hampered by the short instrumental record. An international team of climate scientists has now shown that annually resolved tree-ring records from North America, particularly from the Southwest, give a continuous representation of the intensity of El Niño events over the past 1100 years and can be used to improve El Niño prediction in climate models. See article.
g Life - After decades without success, scientists have now calculated the Hoyle state. The Hoyle state is an energy-rich form of the carbon nucleus and is the key to understanding the fusion reaction that leads from helium gas to carbon. Without this type of carbon nucleus, life might not exist. See article.
g Intelligence - Computer networks that can't forget fast enough can show symptoms of a kind of virtual schizophrenia, giving researchers further clues to the inner workings of schizophrenic brains, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Yale University have found. See article.
g Cosmicus - Three science investigations of interest to astrobiology are being considered for a 2016 NASA mission: to look at Mars' interior; study an extraterrestrial sea on Titan; or study a comet's nucleus in detail. See article.

Get your SF book manuscript edited