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Biologists have a good idea that life begets life.


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Biologists life.
Biologists have a good idea that life begets life.

Where does intelligent life come from?

Biologists - and all parents - have a pretty good idea that "life begets life". Beginning with the most primitive anaerobic bacteria and leading up to the most sophisticated and accomplished astronomer, it's pretty clear that offspring don't necessarily resemble their parent(s) in all particulars. Meanwhile exobiologists are unlikely to ever disprove the fact that life exists beyond the Blue planet because disproving something is much harder than proving it. After all if intelligent life could happen here - it could happen elsewhere...

Jupiter reflects the sun's x-rays.

Astronomers have used the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope to watch X-rays coming from Jupiter. These X-rays are mostly reflected solar radiation, which is bounced back through Jupiter's atmosphere. Since Jupiter seems to brighten and dim during solar flares, solar Astronomers can detect flares occurring on the far side of the Sun. Jupiter is a poor mirror for X-rays, though, typically only reflecting back less than 0.1% of the radiation that hits it.

Solar system planet Saturn's twisting rings.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft took this photograph of Saturn's F ring that shows distinct twists and kinks. The perturbations are caused by the gravitation interaction of Saturn's F ring shepherd Moon Prometheus as it orbits the Ringed planet once every 14.7 hours - Prometheus just passed through the region in this photograph, so the eddies are fresh. This photograph was taken by Cassini on Jan. 19, 2005 at a distance of 1.9 million km (1.2 million miles).

Region around a black hole is surprisingly turbulent.

The quaint view that black holes gobble up matter quickly and efficiently is being replaced with observations and simulations that show a tremendous amount of violence and turbulence. Like too much water trying to get down a drain, matter backs up and creates an environment unique in the Universe. A new simulation from Johns Hopkins University shows how matter around a black hole can take on relativistic speeds, extreme densities, intense magnetic fields, all the while blasting out torrents of energy.

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