Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Inside a dark cosmic cloud, ‘Time without End’ and thinking locally for cosmic solutions

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 - Demonstrating the power of a multiwavelength investigation using diverse facilities, astronomers have deciphered the true nature of a mysterious object hiding inside a dark cosmic cloud. They found that the cloud, once thought to be featureless, contains a baby star, or possibly a failed star known as a "brown dwarf," that is still forming within its dusty cocoon. See article.
g Abodes - The discovery of what is now more than 100 planets around stars other than the Sun continues to stimulate tremendous public and media interest. One astronomer believes that this attention is driven not so much by the discovery of the extrasolar planets themselves, but by the prospect of intelligent alien life. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.
g Life - In September 2004, the Carnegie Institute of Washington conducted a 2-week expedition to Kamchatka, situated in the far eastern portion of Russia. Toporski and Maule characterized the organic geochemistry and microbiology of specific hydrothermal sites in situ, using a suite of molecular biology techniques deployed at each field site to test the levels of ATP, lipids, DNA and various proteins. Kamchatka spans a region of approximately 400 by 1200 kilometers, containing nearly a tenth of all active volcanoes of the world, together with 150 exposed hydrothermal sites. The region represents a modern analogue for hydrothermal ecosystems that have been active throughout most of Earth's history, yet is almost untouched by human influences. Hydrothermal systems are also likely to have existed on the surface of Mars, at least until the atmospheric pressure fell to the point that liquid water was no longer stable at the surface. See article.
g Intelligence - Quote for the Day: "For ’tis a very ridiculous opinion that the common people have got among them, that it is impossible a rational Soul should dwell in any other shape than ours." — Christian Huygens
g Message - Here’s a classic essay by physicist Freeman J. Dyson: "Time Without End: Physics and Biology in an Open Universe," part of which examines "the problem of communication between two societies separated by a large distance in the open universe." See article. Note: This is article is very technical.
g Cosmicus - Changing a rocky, dry planet into a habitat suggests terraforming on a vast scale. Pumping in greenhouse gases and raising the global temperature would have to begin a centuries-long metamorphosis. A proposal for using subunit greenhouses, or Martian oases, suggests however that thinking locally first may have global implications. See article.
g Learning - Introducing "intelligent design'' to high school students could help the idea gain wider acceptance among mainstream scientists, a sociology professor testified Monday in a landmark federal trial over whether the concept can be mentioned in public school biology classes. See article.
g Imagining - Like stories about efforts to communicate with alien? Then be sure to read Fred Hoyle’s "A for Andromeda" (1962). See review.
g Aftermath - In a cross-cultural study conducted several years ago, to scientists looked at the attitudes of college students towards the possibility that extraterrestrial life might exist, and if it does, what it might be like for people to learn that it exists. See article. Note: This article is from 2002.

Get your SF book manuscript edited

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

No comments: