Monday, September 26, 2005

Stellar twins, detecting ET’s robotic probes, and the Galactic Club

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 - An astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his colleagues have photographed a pair of stellar twins in infrared light, which penetrates the dust. And these babies are whoppers, weighing several times the mass of the Sun. See article.
g Abodes - University of Arizona and Japanese scientists are convinced that evidence at last settles decades-long arguments about what objects bombarded the early inner solar system in a cataclysm 3.9 billion years ago. See article.
g Life - Cosmic Ancestry — commonly known as panspermia — is a new theory pertaining to evolution and the origin of life on Earth. It holds that life on Earth was seeded from space, and that life's evolution to higher forms depends on genetic programs that come from space (It accepts the Darwinian account of evolution that does not require new genetic programs.). Supporters say it is a wholly scientific, testable theory for which evidence is accumulating. For a Web set on the theory, click here.
g Intelligence - A team of scientists has solved a key mystery of visual perception. Why do pictures look the same when viewed from different angles? See article.
g Message - The search for extraterrestrial intelligence must include complementary observing programs that investigate our solar system and near Earth. Solar system observing strategies involve a search for energy (e.g., artificial microwaves) or physical manifestations (e.g., exploratory robotic probes) that may be present. Artificial electromagnetic emissions from robotic probes may be detectable using existing ground-based radio-telescope observatories like Arecibo, or those undergoing construction such as the Allen Telescope Array. See article.
g Cosmicus - All companies set goals, but newly formed 4Frontiers Corp. is eyeing some expansive horizons. The company's mission: to open a small human settlement on Mars within 20 years or so. See article. For related Mars stories, see: “Europe space officials extend Mars Express mission”, “Summit Science: Spirit Rover Has a Field Day on Mars” and “Mars doubles in brightness”.
g Learning - Intelligent design is presented as a legitimate scientific theory and an alternative to Darwinism, but a close look at the arguments shows they don't pass scientific muster. So why are scientists worried? See article.
g Imagining - What is the “Galactic Club”? See article.

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