Friday, May 20, 2011

SETI items

Dear readers

In Adelaide, we are having a short return to summer conditions today, before an icy blast from Antarctica comes in at the weekend.

Today's post features two short items related to SETI.

Signs of life in meteorites:

Remnants of an asteroid crashed to Earth in October 2008. Pieces were collected within 20 hours. "Astronomers have identified 10 different meteorite types within the recovered remains. After further analysis, they determined that some of these types contained amino acids and other important molecules of life."

(Source: Astronomy magazine. Volume 39 number 4, April 2011, page 20.)

A small exoplanet found:

NASA announced that its Kepler mission "...had discovered the first definitely rocky exoplanet...named Kepler 10b, it's also the smallest planet ever found outside the solar system, measuring 1.4 times Earth's size and weighing 4.5 times as much." However, it only "...takes 0.84 days to orbit its star..."

(Source: Astronomy magazine. Volume 39 number 4, April 2011, page 24.)

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