Sunday, April 17, 2005

Black holes got it started, populating Earth and Beta III’s Landru

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars – New studies of the very distant universe confirm the idea that black holes and galaxies helped each other grow through massive mergers. See article.
g Abodes – Oceanographers have probed the ancient sediments beneath Lake Malawi in East Africa and recovered sediment samples that provide up to 1.5 million years of information about how climate in Africa has changed. See article.
g Life – The rare discovery of eggs inside a dinosaur has given scientists new clues about the reproductive biology of the creatures and more support for the theory that birds came from dinosaurs. See article.
g Intelligence – Researchers are aiming to learn more about how the Earth was populated by collecting and analyzing genetic samples from 100,000 people around the globe. See article.
g Message – You probably saw “The Search for Other Earths” cover of the December National Geographic. Here’s the article online.
g Cosmicus – NASA's $110 million high-risk, high-tech demonstration of a space autopilot for future human spaceships and robotic cargo craft closed within 300 feet of its target Friday night, then inexplicably ran out of fuel to the dismay of helpless engineers on the ground. See article.
g Learning – The challenge to communicate both the breadth and depth of astrobiology is discussed by Carol Oliver, of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. As a researcher in communicating science, she considers how best to tell a busy public what it means to explore other worlds for signs of life elsewhere. See article.
g Imagining – Can life be ”artificial,” as appears to be the case with many of Star Trek’s computer gone awry, such as Beta III’s Landru? See article.
g Aftermath – How might we characterize the political significance of any announcement of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence? How about using the Torino Scale, which characterizes asteroid impacts, as a model to assist the discussion and interpretation of any claimed discovery of ETI? See article.

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