Saturday, April 06, 2013

New technique unveils 10 exoplanets

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 - Thanks to a new high-tech gadget, astronomers have observed four planets orbiting a star relatively close to the sun in unprecedented detail, revealing the roughly 10 Jupiter-mass planets to be among the most exotic ones known. See article.
g Life - Researchers in northeastern Spain say they've uncovered hundreds of dinosaur egg fossils, including four kinds that had never been found before in the region. The eggs likely were left behind by sauropods millions of years ago. See article.
g Aftermath - Alien life has been one of the staples of science fiction since the origins of the genre, and Star Trek, one of its best-known examples, has hardly shied away from it. Yet, while the line above—taken from a memorable (if annoying) parody of the original series—has been indelibly linked to the Star Trek franchise, it is hardly representative of the life forms seen in its various incarnations on the big and small screen. For every unusual alien, be it a vaporous cloud or the silicon-based Horta, Star Trek featured dozens, if not hundreds, of humanoid aliens, differing from humans only through some combination of forehead ridges, crumpled noses, or pointed ears (and almost all speaking flawless English, of course.) Such are the limitations of the makeup and special effects budgets of a TV series, one might argue. Yet even the Star Wars epics, with budgets far larger than any television series, feature a menagerie of aliens not so dissimilar that they could not socialize together at the Mos Eisley cantina. See article.

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