Life on Mars comes to simulated, um, life (and other stuff you missed)

Welcome back to a brand new year of GeekBytes! As it turns out, there are just as many interesting stories on the internet this year as there were last year. Let's look at three of them.

Life on Mars made a visual reality [Universe Today]

You know those TV shows that try to imagine what life will be like on Earth after humans have made their grand exit? Software engineer Kevin Gill decided against removing life from a planet and creating live where there is none The result: A lush, beautiful visualization of Mars, full of habitable terrain and blue water. Check out his Flickr page for similar renderings of the Moon and other variations on his living, breathing Mars. [via io9]

Astronomers reassess galaxy formation [LA Times]

Astronomers have recently discovered dwarf galaxies that not only accompany the larger galaxies that surround Andromeda, but are also “aligned along a single plane, and […] appeared to 'co-rotate; in the same direction.” In addition, the dwarf galaxies are also aligned on the same plane as the Milky Way. The modern understanding of galaxy formation lacks any explanation for this phenomenon. Aliens?

Happy New Year from Aldebaran’s NAO [YouTube]

Enough about space. Here’s a robot wishing you a happy shiny new year. And may it be a shiny new year for us all! [via OhGizmo!]

[Top photo: Kevin M. Gill/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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