Saturday, February 16, 2013

Closest star forming planets

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 ESA's Herschel Space Telescope, astronomers including Thomas Henning from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have used a new method to determine the mass of the planetary nursery around the star TW Hydrae. At a distance of merely 176 light-years from Earth, this is the closest star that is currently forming new planets - hence one of the most important objects for astronomers studying planet formation. See article.
g Abodes - Ridges in impact craters on Mars appear to be fossils of cracks in the Martian surface, formed by minerals deposited by flowing water. Water flowing beneath the surface suggests life may once have been possible on Mars. See article.
g Cosmicus - Scientists have developed a way to grow iron-oxidizing bacteria using electricity instead of iron. The study could one day lead to using the organisms to turn electricity into fuel. See article.

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