Friday, March 16, 2012

More Earth-size planet candidates and searching for ETI’s laser beacons

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 - The Kepler team has released the third catalog of transiting planet candidates. The new catalog contains 1,091 candidates, including some that could be smaller than twice the size of Earth. Kepler has now identified well over 200 Earth-size planet candidates. See article.
g Life - The Burgess Shale of British Columbia is one of the most important fossil deposits in the world. Now, scientists are beginning to understand how these fossils were preserved. See article.
g Message - In 2001, California astronomers broadened the search for extraterrestrial intelligence with a new experiment to look for powerful light pulses beamed our way from other star systems. Scientists from the University of California's Lick Observatory, the SETI Institute, UC-Santa Cruz, and UC-Berkeley used the Lick Observatory's 40-inch Nickel Telescope with a pulse-detection system capable of finding laser beacons from civilizations many light-years distant. Unlike other optical SETI searches, this new experiment is largely immune to false alarms that slow the reconnaissance of target stars. See article.

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