SETI bioastro: Astrobiology and related news from May 17, 2001

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From: Larry Klaes (
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 11:16:10 PDT

A Comet's Life: Icy Adventure From Birth to Death

A detailed analysis of a comet that broke apart last summer has provided
direct evidence to support the idea that the ingredients for life on Earth
arrived in a comet.

* How Did Jupiter Get So Big?

Before the discovery of planets in other solar systems, scientists thought
Jupiter formed slowly, like a mammoth gaseous pearl around a solid center,
but one researcher now believes the birth of planetary giants takes only a
short time -- maybe even centuries.

* Bubble-Blowing Baby Star Baffles Astronomers

A baby star has been spotted blowing bubbles, confounding researchers who
say young stars are not supposed to know how to do this. If the finding
holds up after further observations, it could alter theories about how stars
form and evolve, and even how planets like ours develop.

* Heavy Hydrogen Measure Supports Big Bang

A new, more precise measurement of the amount of deuterium, or heavy
hydrogen, in the universe backs up previous work and the Big Bang theory for
the origin of the universe.

* ESA Introduces Gaia to Next-Generation Astronomers

Dozens of young scientists from all over Europe have gathered this week at
Les Houches in Savoie, France, for intensive briefings on ESA's next
star-mapping satellite, Gaia.

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