Wednesday, July 21, 2010

#NASA Probe Seeks Signs-of-Life in the Universe

NASA believes that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has an inkling as to where to look for life in the universe and has given them $630,000 to pursue its search. Look for RPI to announce the discovery of Earth-like planets circling distant stars within two years. R.C.J.

Protoplanetary disk around a luminous young star. Dust particles in the disk that orbit around the star may eventually coalesce to form new planets. Research by the RPI team will provide new insight into the chemical evolution of the disks.

Here's what RPI says about its NASA funded effort to find life elsewhere in the universe: The New York Center for Astrobiology will widen the scope of its search for the building blocks of life beyond Earth with the help of a new NASA grant. Based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the center is devoted to investigating the origins of life on Earth and the conditions that lead to formation of habitable planets in our own and other solar systems...The new four-year $630,000 grant will allow the center to expand operations...Researchers at the center study the chemical, physical, and geological conditions on Earth that gave birth to life. That information, in turn, is used to search for similar conditions elsewhere – on Mars and other bodies in our solar system, and on planets orbiting other stars...The researchers look for clues within young solar systems, where stars are surrounded by molecular clouds or pre-planetary disks that have not yet coalesced into planets...
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