Saturday, January 14, 2012

Supernova mystery solved and links between dusty disks and planet formation

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 - Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have solved a longstanding mystery of the type of star, or so-called progenitor, which caused a supernova seen in a nearby galaxy. The finding yields new observational data for pinpointing one of several scenarios that trigger such outbursts. See article.
g Abodes - With help from the Subaru telescope, researchers are gaining a new understanding of the links between dusty disks and planet formation. The data could aid in the search for new worlds around distant stars. See article.
g Message - "Surely one of the most marvelous feats of 21st-century science would be the firm proof that life exists on another planet. In that case, the thesis that life develops spontaneously when the conditions are favorable would be far more firmly established, and our whole view of the problem of the origin of life would be confirmed." Stanley Miller and Harold Urey wrote in 1959. Unfortunately, their dream has not been realized, and as we begin this new millennium the question of whether life exists beyond the Earth remains unanswered. However, there are reasons for optimism that in the not-too-distant future we may have an answer. See article. This article is from 2001.

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