Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mars at Yellowstone, bilateral symmetry and space tourism

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 - A new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows that a galaxy once thought to be rather plain and old is actually endowed with a gorgeous set of young spiral arms. The unusual galaxy, called NGC 4625, is a remarkable find because it is relatively nearby. Until now, astronomers had thought that this kind of youthful glow in galaxies was a thing of the past. See article.
g Abodes - Home of the spewing Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park may also be an analog for happenings even on far-flung worlds like Mars. See article.
g Life - Microscopic fossils found in China emerge as the oldest examples of animals that display bilateral symmetry - two halves that are mirror images of each other. The find by a USC paleontologist and his peers focused on critters that date back millions of years. See article.
g Intelligence - Book alert: The value of “Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind,” by Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey, hasn't diminished with the passage of time. It's compelling story of the growth of paleoanthropology in the 20th Century remains unmatched. Johanson's role should be known to most, but this personal relation endures as a landmark for those interested in the development of humanity. He's given us a lucid story of the life and work of the paleoanthropologist both in the field and laboratory. He is candid in assessing other workers and himself in tracing the line of descent from ape-like creatures to modern humans. See reviews.
g Message - Forget waiting for ET to call — the most likely place to find an alien message is in our DNA, according to an expert in Australia. See article. Note: This article is from 2004.
g Cosmicus - The company responsible for brokering the first two space tourist missions to the International Space Station announced plans for a mission that will send space tourists to the far side of the moon at the cost of $100 million per person. See article.
g Learning - Harvard University is launching a broad initiative to discover how life began, joining an ambitious scientific assault on age-old questions that are central to the debate over the theory of evolution. See article.
g Imagining - Here’s an interesting critical examination of science fiction aliens that’s worth reading: Hal Clement’s "The Creation of Imaginary Beings," in “Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow” (Reginald Bretnor, ed., 1974). It’s a classic, hard SF account of how to conceptualize believable aliens.
g Aftermath If we establish communication with a civilization even as close as 100 light years from Earth, the round-trip time for a message and its reply is 200 years. What will be the psychology of a civilization that can engage in a meaningful conversation with this sort of delay? How is such a conversation to be established? What should the content of such a conversation be? These are the questions which motivate our title: "Minds and Millennia: The Psychology of Interstellar Communication." See article.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: